tarzan_and_jane.jpg

Danny Leatherdale as Tarzan carries Jane (Wendy Cooper) off the stage after the song you can hear in the link below

Music From Tarzan


Here is some music from Tarzan kindly donated by Marian Young. Jane encourages Tarzan to speak a few words "Me Tarzan, You Jane". This was Wendy Cooper and Danny Leatherdale. They were wonderful.

The Aeroplane and where the song fitted in

My chief memory of Tarzan was the aeroplane that Geoff Green made. It was tied to a wire that ran over the heads of the audience and one of the monkeys ran down the hall pulling it above him and shouting "Iron Bird comes". Then there was a terrific bang when it reached the stage and the curtains closed then opened to reveal odd bits of an aeroplane all over the stage and Wendy Cooper lying under them. First, before she could be rescued, the farcical characters came to life, Helen Payne, (or was it Bridget?) as Professor whatever his name's wife (Jane's mother) complaining about being stuck in the boondocks, Cally Cooper as the air hostess refusing to walk back to Lagos in her high heels despite Fynn Nielson as the pilot ordering her to. Finally, after all these had fallen into the elephant trap, Tarzan (Danny Leatherdale) appeared as Tarzan, rescued Jane from under the wing of the plane and they ended the scene singing this song. Very sweet it was too!

If anyone has a photo please put it up
Nick


Geoff Green's account of the making of the 'plane

Task: an aeroplane which had to fly the length of the Hall and crash onto the stage; it had to be big enough to hold a number of children and be re-used at rehearsals and all performances!
Solution: Telephone cable was slung from the rear of the hall to the proscenium arch with a large knot at the arch end. Hung from this, using a couple of chainsaw pull cord pulley wheels attached to a length of fencing wire was the ‘plane. Built on a fencing wire frame covered with chicken wire and then covered in papier mache. The wings were loosely attached by a light cord. It had a wingspan of about four feet. A small child in a monkey costume ran from the rear of the hall pulling the plane by a length of “invisible” 50lb breaking strain fishing line. On arriving at the front of the hall, the pulleys struck the knot, causing the ‘plane to jump and the wings to become detached. At this moment, all beautifully synchronised, the lighting team fired a magnesium flash, a gorilla appeared through the curtains and carried off the model ‘plane. The curtains opened to reveal full size sections of fuselage, out of which staggered the survivors.
Eat your heart out Spielberg!

Air hostesses - Cockney or French?

That aeroplane was one of the most spectacular panto props ever; Geoff excelled himself.
During rehearsals Nick asked the girls playing the air hostesses to use cockney accents. Coming from South London as I did I was astonished to find that these two very talented Hampshire actresses hadn't a clue how to speak in this way but instead managed French accents with great aplomb!

We also spent several seriously funny to the point of exhaustion rehearsals trying to get the title song together. It went something like "Oh Ah Tarzan Oh Ah Tarzan Oh Ah Oh Ah Oh AHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. As the rehearsal wore on the AHAHAHAAAAAAAAA got wilder and the the punctuated Oh Ahs were getting pretty blue (well we were pre-teens!!!!). The hilarity of that day still lingers I am laughing now as I recall the day. We had some great characters in the areoplane including Finn Nelson, Simon Tear, Dru Cole, and Wendy Cooper. Rehearsals were a great laugh and lots of fun and frolics I remember the first showing with that notorious areoplane stunt. The idea was the areoplane shot through the audience and onto the stage, BANG and the lights go out. We all sneak on with our varying sized pieces of the so called wreakage and hide under them to then have the lights turn on to the mayhem. Well the first part worked but as we scuttled across the stage the lights turned up before we had time to lie on the floor. At which point witty Finn discarded his wreckage piece, flexed his muscles to make out he was invinicible and the scene continued. It also has to be said the costuming was pretty inventive to get several monkeys together and look convincing was partly due to Jeanie's lateral thinking skills. Also the moments when accidentally the scenery fell and was hoisted back up Jeanie accompanied the mistake and rectification with the bicycle pump flute!!! One of my favourite pantos. (posted by Siouxsie Cooper)

I have some Tarzan photos sent by Holly and David Cole which I'll try to put up later.
Isabel

The Photos

Here are a few of the photos:
tarzan_prisoner.jpg
Tarzan is captured by the sinister white huntress who is determined to rob the elephants graveyard. She was played by Dru Cole. (It was a well known fact to Edgar Rice Burrows (author of Trazan) that all elephants went to die in one place and the person who found it would have enough ivory to become queen of Africa or something) She captured Tarzan to help her. Assisting here are her two comic sidekicks the Pot Noodle salesmen Guisepe and Spaghetti played by James Salmon and Joe Tyrrell. To the right is Fynn Nielsen the pilot of the aeroplane that crashed Jane and the rest of them into the jungle.
swinging_through_the_jungle.jpg

Cheetah played by (was it Bill Cooper or maybe Nibby Saunders?) swings across the stage to rescue little Tarzan "Boy" and little Jane "Girl". Everyone wanted to be Tarzan or Jane so we had to have two. Nicola Balfour was Girl, one of the Ayres (Rowan?) was Boy. The exciting dark jungle was one of Jeanie Mellersh's scenic masterpieces. I don`t think it was, was it Berry ?]. Jeanie.

The story, with so many characters, became rather convoluted but certainly plenty happened. You can find the script rather cleverly disguised as "Barzan" (for copyright reasons) on http://www.mellersh.net. I'll give a more direct link soon.

More photos soon. Nick Mellersh
vickyy_saunders_meets_parrot.jpg
Here Vicky Saunders meets a parrot who looks like Wendy Cooper but can't have been as she was acting Jane.
Isabel says "Could it have been Kathleen Garbutt?- When I have finished my spreadsheet of (almost) ALL the characters and helpers in ALL the pantomimes I will send a copy to Nick and Jeanie, and these mysteries will be cleared up."
in_the_stew2.jpg
At one point all the passengers on the plane got captured by the Helawi tribe. ("Excuse me but where the hell are we?" To which the tribe replied "Excuse me but we're the Helawi" and so on - Ah well the old ones are the best ones.) They were threatened with becoming the dinner and we had a nice song (music by Marion) about "You can't put me in the stew". It was a bit of a rip off from "Here we are sitting in a Jar" probably the most remembered of all the panto songs. Sad that the jar song was one of the the very few not written in Minstead. Hoping to get pictures up of it soon on the Ali Baba page but I don't think anyone has a tape. Help if you can!
Nick

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