|Ann Perrin (nee Field) B.A M.Sc.
London - UK
All Rights Reserved
Although Holiday on Ice was fully staged in a theatre not in an ice rink, all the parts were taken by skaters. Joan was engaged to take part in the show and do a special scene from Alice in Wonderland.
A professional skater playing Alice skated behind a mushroom. Joan, with a marionette all of 24inches tall, skated out the other side of the mushroom to indicate Alice had grown smaller. Down to the footlights she skated then backwards to the mushroom again. The real Alice then reappeared. In a spotlight the whole thing looked very effective.
Later on terra firma or rather Captain Silver's treasure chest, the rest of her marionette act took place. It included Rose Murphy playing her piano. Edmundo Ros with his maracas played 'Boys and Girls love Saturday Night', 'The Teddy Bears Picnic' always a favourite with young and old and finally 'Dry Bones' with the Skeletons disappearing into the treasure chest. All clever stuff!
In the shows finale, Joan skated on ice in a sailor costume to match a puppet sailor. She then marched with the company for the final song with complete confidence. No one knew two of the chorus boys had been ready to pick her up, should she fall flat on her face!
Marching on ice was not for Joan. She had only learned to skate for the show, spending weeks practicing at the local rink in London. The following year the show was to be staged at the ice rink. "Not with me it won't" said Joan firmly. Skating was not for her.
Judy and I were still at school but travelled up on three separate occasions from our Grandparents house in London to see our mother in the show. We both loathed travelling on the the all night coach but for children who had been bought up in post war austerity the magic, music and glamour of the show was the most exciting thing we had ever seen.
Our Alice marionette somehow disappeared from our collection for many years. Imagine our surprise when it turned up at a Puppet auction as recently at August of this year. We could not resist buying it back.