Limelight shines on 53rd village panto

Lennie, Farm Manager (Keith Evans), Rose, his girlfriend (Jade Murray), Priscilla, a magical goose (Tom Birch), Colin, Mother Goose's son (Tess Edmonds), Mother Goose, The Dame (Nic Wilson). Photos: Peakscapes.
Lennie, Farm Manager (Keith Evans), Rose, his girlfriend (Jade Murray), Priscilla, a magical goose (Tom Birch), Colin, Mother Goose's son (Tess Edmonds), Mother Goose, The Dame (Nic Wilson). Photos: Peakscapes.

The limelight is set to shine on Youlgrave once again as villagers prepare for their 53rd annual pantomime.

As one of the most-loved pantos in Derbyshire, this year’s offering of Mother Goose promises to draw crowds from across the county and beyond.

The full cast of Youlgrave Pantomine's production of Mother Goose.

The full cast of Youlgrave Pantomine's production of Mother Goose.

There will be a total of ten performances – starting next week – and packed crowds are predicted, based on previous years.

Jan Wilson, who has written and produced the panto for 35 years, said: “While the story of Mother Goose is well known, as usual the story will have an unexpected twist which should be a real surprise for people.”

She added: “All proceeds raised get put back into the village hall too, to make this event, and others possible each year.

“It’s very much a family show and all are welcome to attend.”

Golightly, a magical messenger (Grace Hill), Fairy Feather, a fairy fine fairy (Catherine Henwood), Squire Ferdinand Fox, a very bad fox (Simon Edmonds), Foxglove, his sidekick (Damion Glover).

Golightly, a magical messenger (Grace Hill), Fairy Feather, a fairy fine fairy (Catherine Henwood), Squire Ferdinand Fox, a very bad fox (Simon Edmonds), Foxglove, his sidekick (Damion Glover).

Jan said the 18-strong cast is a “true celebration of community spirit”, including local actors from all age groups – the youngest being eight and the oldest being 82-years-old.

“But it’s not just the cast that make this possible year after year,” said Jan.

“There are almost 70 people who help with making the stage, designing the costumes, promoting the event and so on. The whole community really pulls together – it’s fantastic.

“This pantomime is great fun and also an opportunity for many of the volunteers to learn new skills, both on and off the stage, but at the same time all the money we raise is for the benefit of the community.

“Expect larger-than-life characters, loads of laughs, beautiful costumes, stunning dance moves, live music and of course…… plenty of heroes to cheer and baddies to boo!”

A new chairman, Mike Baitup, has been welcomed into the fold ahead of this year’s performance.

Jan said: “Mike has been a real dynamic force. He’s had some fantastic new ideas and has even got businesses to sponsor the event, which has really helped us to prepare something special.”

The pantomime is running from January 28-31 and February 4-7 at Youlgrave Village Hall. There will be matinées before each Saturday performance.

Tickets cost £6.25 for adults and £3.25 for children. To book, call 01629 828215 or visit yvh.org.uk.