‘Bubbly’ Sally’s looking to add polish and shine to this year’s Deco Panto in Northampton!

'It all sounds very romantic – cleaner becomes Panto star'

By David Summers
Monday, 18th October 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 1:04 pm
Sally Andrew
Sally Andrew

By day, she keeps The Old Savoy looking clean, tidy, and fresh for visitors. But the Northampton theatre’s resident cleaner is temporarily putting away her duster and mop, and preparing to be a member of the cast in this Christmas’s Panto.

In fairness, Sally Andrew is no stranger to performing in public, as an accomplished – and competitive - ballroom dancer, and also as an on-stage host at various events in and around Northampton. But now a proud grandma, Sally will be making her Panto debut in Aladdin (December 10th to 31st) as one two police officers, and she could not be more excited.

“It all sounds very romantic – cleaner becomes Panto star,” she laughed. “But it’s fair to say I’m now shrinking violent when it comes to performing in public: I’ve been dancing competitively for years, and absolutely love it, I’ve been the on-stage compare for numerous events, and I’ve been on TV a few times, so you could say I’m not shy of the limelight!”

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Sally Andrew pictured with fellow Panto police officer, Tommy Gardner

So how did it all come about? Explained Sally, who’s been a contestant in the past on the BBC’s ‘The Weakest Link’ and Channel Four’s ‘15-to-one’: “I run ‘Spotless Cleaning’, my own business, and I’ve been working with The Deco, now The Old Savoy too, for a long time as one of my clients, and so I know all the team there very well.

“Last year Andrzej Mialkowski, my Pro-Am dance partner, appeared in The Deco Panto, fulfilling his own long-time ambition, and not only was he fantastic, he loved it,” she said. “So it got me thinking – I know the Deco team like to encourage local people.

“I approached Jill Roach, the theatre’s House Manager, and her husband, Kevin, and asked if I might be considered - and to my very pleasant surprise, they both warmed to the idea, gave me an audition, and here I am!”

Said Kevin: “Sally’s a natural; she has a wonderful, bubbly, personality, is always full of fun, has experience of live performances, and I had no doubt at all about offering her a part in the Panto. She’s going to be great.”

It should come as little surprise that Sally felt there was a calling to the stage. Her late mother used to sing and dance with the legendary Gracie Fields way back when

“I suppose it must be in the blood,” she chuckled. “But whatever, I’m thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity, and not only that, but to be working with such a brilliant cast – they’re all fantastic, on stage and off it, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it all.

“I’ve been coming to Deco Panto’s for years, and the standard is amazing, it’s always a brilliant show, and it’s a lovely theatre, too,” said Sally, who has been married to Steve for 32 years, has three sons, and became a grandma to Maisie Rose in November last year.

“It will be lovely being on stage knowing that my family are in the audience – Maisie might be a little too young to appreciate it this year, but it will still be special to see her there.”

So, from cleaner to the stage; one thing is for sure – you can guarantee a totally polished performance from Sally during her appearances in ‘Aladdin’.

Tickets for ‘Aladdin’ can be bought online: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/aladdin-2021/, or call 01604 491005., or by popping along to the Box Office, at Abington Square, Northampton.