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Cast has to hand it to ugly sister

PUBLISHED: 17:02 08 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 March 2010

THE old adage rang true and despite nursing an injured finger the Ugly Sister knew the show had to go on.

Harry Myers, who plays Verruca in the New Wolsey's rock 'n' roll production of Cinderella, had just about made it to the end of the first act of opening night when he noticed he could not straighten his

finger.

THE old adage rang true and despite nursing an injured finger the Ugly Sister knew the show had to go on.

Harry Myers, who plays Verruca in the New Wolsey's rock 'n' roll production of Cinderella, had just about made it to the end of the first act of opening night when he noticed he could not straighten his

finger.

It did not hurt and it may not sound like a major obstacle to the average pantomime, but in this version of Cinderella every member of the cast plays a

number of instruments.

Harry plays tenor and

baritone saxophones as well as

keyboards so losing the use of one finger was potentially a major setback.

"I must have knocked it or something and not been aware of it at the time," Harry said. "I do fall over maybe 12 times in the first act.

"I came off stage and realised my finger wasn't working

properly at the end. I just looked at it and thought 'What's it done that for?"

"There was definitely something wrong and I thought it might be broken. I could push it and do everything but straighten it."

During the interval, New Wolsey technical manager Nikk Turnham stepped in to administer some ingenious first aid.

He snapped the end off one of Harry's old saxophone reeds, strapped it to his finger as a splint and sent him back on stage to finish the show.

"Me not going back on stage was never going to happen," Harry said.

The audience had no idea of the mini-drama that had taken place when they returned to their seats.

Only the very astute would have noticed Harry always falling with one hand in the air and the mistake he made when he first picked up the saxophone in the second half.

Because he had not seen a doctor about his finger, he did not want to use it for fear of doing more damage, so he

pretended to play the saxophone during act two.

He said: "I play nearly all the songs in the second half and was worried about coming on and not playing. But the director and MD said just don't do anything strenuous because you don't want to seriously damage it for the rest of the run.

"I came on stage at the beginning of the second half and thought I was doing all right until I remembered you need to put the mouthpiece in your mouth to mime convincingly.

"I'd forgotten but I think I got away with it."

After the show Harry went to Ipswich Hospital and was told that Nikk had done the right thing in ensuring the finger was kept straight. The doctor also complimented Nikk's first aid.

Harry said: "The doctor said I had torn a tendon in my finger.

"He said it was mallet finger – you couldn't get much more

pantomimic than that!"

Harry's finger will be taped to a plastic splint for four weeks but although it feels a bit awkward he said he can still play the

saxophone in the Rock 'n' Roll Party Pantomime.

Everyone's fingers – excuse the pun – are now tightly crossed that the rest of Cinderella's run will go smoothly and that the other well known theatre saying, "break a leg", will not be taken too literally.

n Cinderella – The Rock 'n' Roll Party Pantomime is at the New Wolsey Theatre until January 12. Tickets cost £5.95 to £19.95 and can be bought at the theatre box office, in Civic Drive, Ipswich, by calling 01473 295900 or by e-mailing tickets@wolsey

theatre.co.uk


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