I’ve been on the committee of Ryton Festival for a couple of years now, and I’ve heard my friends Liz and Trevor Peart mention being committed elsewhere for the first week of the Festivals, namely, “The pantomime.” They probably said more than that about it, so perhaps I just wasn’t listening. My loss.
This evening I decided to go. In fact I decided a couple of weeks ago which is just as well, because if I’d left it until tonight I would have been disappointed. The show was a sell-out and there are only a few tickets left for the rest of the week. For updates go to Centenary Pantomime
I laughed as much as I do every December when I visit the professional panto at the Theatre Royal. Everyone was marvellous. There are particularly funny routines between Hazel Alderson (Agnes) and Steve Gladstone (Algernon) who sang a duet together, and Gavin Younger (Billy) and Susan Steele (Milly) caused havoc whilst Liz Peart (Carmen) attempted to sing a well-known ballad. (She has a beautiful voice by the way but allowed herself to be thoroughly sent up). There are other great performances from Doug Younger, Gail Horrill, Carole Storey, Sandra Mitchell, Juan Rodriguez, Hona Towns and Stephen Lancaster. The chorus are Nathan Burton, Libby Mason Burnett, Thomas Towns, Aaron Burton, James Horrill and Lori Chisholm.
Mention must also be given to the lighting crew, and the fabulous set design. The programme lists an extensive back stage crew.
This annual event has been running for several years and I gather it’s always held in February over half term weekend. All proceeds go to towards the upkeep of the Centenary Church which is on the Main Road in Crawcrook where the shows are held, and then divided between other charities.
This year the show is running from 19th to 23rd February at 7pm, and also a matinée at 2pm on Saturday. Tickets are only £4, click on the link above for availability.