DENZIL HOWSON ARCHIVE
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1959

Merry Make Believe

The coming of videotape enabled the 1959 Christmas Pantomime, “Merry Make-Believe”, to be more ambitious because it could be pre-recorded over a weekend, when extended access could be had to the large studio at GTV9. Multiple sets included a large pool on which the cast travels in a small boat to enter the land of Merry Make-Believe.

Synopsis

Ron Blaskett, Gerry Gee and Bernard the Magician are celebrating Christmas with Happy Hammond when Santa Claus arrives. He explains that there are children living nearby who he can’t visit because they don’t believe in him. Ron, Gerry, Happy and Bernard visit Uncle Silas, and his niece and nephew, Cindy and Mark. Uncle Silas thinks make-believe is “stuff and nonsense”. Bernard casts a spell, revealing a magic lake with a boat that takes them all to Make Believe Land where they meet King Ratbaggy. The king tells them there’s all sorts of trouble in Make Believe Land because somebody back in the normal world doesn’t believe in them. He takes the visitors to meet Humpty Dumpty who has fallen off his wall and broken. They come across Little Bo Peep, who has lost her sheep, and Mary Mary whose flowers will not grow. Later, Uncle Silas sneaks out of the King’s palace. He finds Humpty Dumpty and repairs him with a tube of glue. He comforts Little Bo Peep, whose sheep return. And he helps Mary Mary to water her flowers which then bloom. She gives a bunch of flowers to Uncle Silas. King Ratbaggy is amazed at the change of fortune and explains that the person who didn’t believe, now does believe. The visitors re-board the boat and sail back to Uncle Silas’ house. When Cindy finds a bunch of flowers on the floor, Uncle Silas realises it is the bunch of flowers given to him by Mary Mary and that his dream was true. He changes his ways and acknowledges that “children are the most important people in the world”. There is singing and dancing and a happy celebration of Christmas by all.

Credits

Cast
Happy Hammond
Ron Blaskett
Gerry Gee
Alf GertlerBernard the Magician
Ernie CarrollKing Ratbaggy
Susan-Gaye AndersonCindy
Elaine McKennaMark
Jack LittleUncle Silas
Ken WarneSanta
Carol SabranskyHumpty Dumpty
Elaine HollandBo Peep
Jill GretgrixMary Mary
Dancers and Chorus
The Tune Twisters
The G.T.V. Juniors: Patricia Holland, Helen Erickson, Jill Gretgrix, Elaine Holland, Pam Eddington, Fay Madden, Dorothy Holland, Susan Gerrard, Diane Crispe, Judith Crispe, Marald Carroll, Yvett Callal, Heather, Winnicott, Helen Martin, Pam White, Wendy McLean, Lorraine Moylan, Janet Moylan, Cheryl Cartledge
Musical Numbers
Christmas Panto from GTV (original)
It’s a Hap Hap Happy Day
Santa’s Song (“Ah That’s My Time”) (original)
Wishing Will Make it So
Wonderful, Wonderful Make Believe (original)
King Ratbaggy’s Song (original)
Happy Days Are Here Again
Music
Margot SheridanPiano
Ian ThomasOrgan
Roy HoskingVibraphone and Drums
Crew
Margot SheridanMusical Director and Composer
“Elizabeth”Choreography and Opening Lyrics
Stephen KellerSet Design
Robert KunertSet Construction
Pat McCormackSet Dressing
Elizabeth WilkinsonMakeup
John CannonAudio
John FowlerLighting
Peter EnglishChief Cameraman
Frank ZepterFloor Manager
Lance BealeTechnical Director
Marcia AdamsDirector
Denzil HowsonWriter and Producer
Production Details
AcknowledgementsPool Courtesy of The Model Power Boat Society
Duration50 minutes
Production DateNot documented.
LocationStudio One, GTV9, Melbourne.