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Norwich Theatre Royal pay tribute to ‘gentle and humble’ panto family member

PUBLISHED: 12:24 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:47 13 February 2020

David Carter, who has worked as musical director on the Theatre Royal panto for 10  years, has died Credit: Courtesy of The British Music Hall Society

David Carter, who has worked as musical director on the Theatre Royal panto for 10 years, has died Credit: Courtesy of The British Music Hall Society

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A heartfelt tribute has been paid after a long-serving member of the Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime died.

David Carter worked with names including Bob Monkhouse and Barbara Windsor during his career Credit: Supplied by Norwich Theatre RoyalDavid Carter worked with names including Bob Monkhouse and Barbara Windsor during his career Credit: Supplied by Norwich Theatre Royal

David Carter was well known in the city after working as the musical director of the panto for the last ten years, including the recent production of Cinderella, which earned him the affectionate nickname 'Uncle David' from the cast.

He had also been the musical arranger since 2006 and in that time was said to have made a lasting impression on those that worked alongside him.

Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre chief executive, said: "David was not just a wonderful musician and the consummate professional but also one of the most gentle and humble men I have ever worked with.

"One of my final conversations with him was about the joy of pantomime and he gave his talent selflessly to bring joy to others."

During his career he also performed in most of Britain's major theatre and concert venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the London Palladium, where he was part of Bob Hope's 80th birthday celebrations.

For over 20 years, he was musical director for Danny La Rue and also worked regularly with Ken Dodd as well as accompanying a range of top showbiz names including Bob Monkhouse, Barbara Windsor and Elaine Paige.

Jane Walsh, Norwich Theatre programming director and panto executive producer, added: "David was such a kind and sweet gentleman. He was always smiling even after 50 shows as he led the band, laughing at the jokes, grinning at the cast and really enjoying himself.

"He was really loved by all the staff here at the Theatre Royal and he really enjoyed being here too."

He was also musical director on many major productions in the West End and on tour including Godspell, A Chorus Line, The Rocky Horror Show, Jesus Christ Superstar, and over 30 pantomimes.

David Carter doing what he loved the most Credit: Courtesy of Richard GauntlettDavid Carter doing what he loved the most Credit: Courtesy of Richard Gauntlett

He appeared on a number of TV shows including National Lottery Live and Noel's House Party, as well as being musical director on a BBC Radio Two series dedicated to music hall.

Richard Gauntlett, who has been part of the Theatre Royal pantomime for nearly 20 years as writer, director and performer and has worked with David for 35 years, said: "David was a witty innocent with a fantastic smile and was an amazing force within the variety profession."


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