Farmers dress up in drag for Edale panto fun

Edale panto, John Shirt and Geoffrey Bear as the dames
Edale panto, John Shirt and Geoffrey Bear as the dames

Burly farmers have ditched their tractors in favour of high heels and dresses as part of the traditional Edale pantomime.

The pantomime is running until Saturday evening in Edale Village Hall and performed solely by residents of the High Peak village.

This year, the show is ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and has been written by Edale resident Jill Neves, who is playing the part of Alice.

Caroline Jackson, who will perform a number of roles in the play, said: “The play it held every two years and it’s been going at least as long as I have lived in the village – about 40 years.

“It is always written by somebody in the village and it always has a lot of local jokes in it, as well as identifiable local characters.”

A five piece orchestra will be playing and there will also be a guest appearance by children from Edale Primary School.

“It’s remarkable the number of farmers who like dressing up as women,” Caroline added.

Rehearsals for the pantomime started just after Christmas and the performance takes place before the lambing season begins, when the farmers will have their hands full.

“The more things like this that we do the better the sense of community and it brings people together,” Caroline said.

“We didn’t even advertise it this year and we sold out.

“We had to let some people come to the dress rehearsal because they couldn’t get tickets and they were desperate to see it.”

Proceeds from ticket sales go towards the production costs, as well as the community.

There will be raffle at the performance on Friday evening to raise money for Red Nose Day.

picture captions

- Jill Neaves plays Alice and wrote the show

- John Shirt and Geoffrey Bear as the dames

- Alice played by Jill Neaves and Jack by Anne Robson with the horse

- Three of the four queens - Margaret Coupe, Catherine Parker and Barry Pierce