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Norwich Playhouse evokes Titanic memories with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio while seeing The Nimmo Twins

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A trip over to Norwich Playhouse to see the 25th anniversary show of The Nimmo Twins – aka Karl Minns and Owen Evans, aka Tubs – was good fun.

Pre-theatre dinner was at The Waffle House and I have never eaten anything different every time I go there.

It has to be the garlic mushrooms in cheese sauce. Even though the specials look amazing I cannot seem to go off-menu.

Jenny Beake.
Jenny Beake.

Looking back 25 years to 1997, when my dad was still alive and chaplain to Norwich, I was performing pub panto with Karl and Tubs, made me think about that time in my life.

I was working at the ABC cinema on the Prince of Wales Road (see Ode to the Prince of Wales Road read as a Shakespearean monologue by Tubs in their show).

Titanic the film had been released and a massive hit with people returning to the ABC cinema over and over again to see it. Celine Dion’s song My Heart Will Go On went on and on and on and on as the popularity of the film soared.

The Nimmo Twins, Owen Evans and Karl Minns.
The Nimmo Twins, Owen Evans and Karl Minns.

Tubs also worked at the ABC cinema on the box office, a post that was coveted by the rest of the team, mainly as he got to sit down.

Everyone was good fun who worked there but essentially it was a glorified cleaning up of popcorn role.

We also had to wear a striped waistcoat and bow tie (along with shirt and trousers obviously) which could be embarrassing if someone you knew came in to see a film.

I would turn my name badge upside down and pretend to be Kate Winslet if someone recognised me.

You may remember that this was a massive film and box office hit and people would leave the cinema in tears after seeing it.

I would offer counselling to these customers who would complain that the ending was disappointing and why Leonardo DiCaprio has to die at the end (spoiler alert for a 25-year-old film).

One viewer asked me if the narrator Rose dies.

I didn’t want to appear patronising or sarcastic in my customer service role so I just said, no she doesn’t die, because how on earth would she be narrating the story, if she too had perished with Leonardo, you imbecile.

I just acted daft and said I dunno.

Part of my role was to take the ticket stubs and direct audience to the Titanic screen by saying: “Up the stairs, through the doors, cinema one” repeatedly which was exhausting.

One evening a guy asked me where the Titanic was.

I replied it was at the bottom of the Atlantic.

He looked at me confused, so I said: “Up the stairs, through the doors, cinema one.”

Jenny Beake

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