Panto makeover for drama classic

ALL FOR ONE... AND ONE FOR ALL: Jayne Marling as Aramis, Michael Hall as Athos and Barrie Goodwin as Porthos. Photo contributed.
ALL FOR ONE... AND ONE FOR ALL: Jayne Marling as Aramis, Michael Hall as Athos and Barrie Goodwin as Porthos. Photo contributed.

BUXTON Drama League is breaking from tradition as it gives the action adventure The Three Musketeers a pantomime makeover.

Expect an all-singing, all dancing panto spectacular as the group presents its latest seasonal offering at the Burbage Institute, on Nursery Lane, Buxton, on Friday February 3 and 10 at 7.30pm, and Saturday February 4 and 11 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Director Robbie Carnegie, who co-wrote the show with Jason Stevens, said: “I’m a firm believer in the traditional family pantomime, but also a believer that to be traditional you don’t necessarily have to stick to the same cycle of Aladdin, Cinderella, Snow White, etc.

“There are so many more stories out there that can be given the panto treatment. In the past I’ve written versions of Theseus and The Minotaur and The Pied Piper … even last year’s Snow White was given a sci-fi theme as Snow White & The Nine Aliens! So this year I decided to return to a story I know well – why not give The Three Musketeers a panto makeover?”

The story sees D’Artagnan, a dashing country boy with a fondness for slapping his thigh, travelling to Paris to try and make his fortune as one of the King’s Musketeers. But the streets of Paris aren’t paved with gold.

He finds the Musketeers now have a youth opportunities programme training recruits from children, so he’ll have to commit an act of bravery to jump the queue.

To make matters worse, he manages to get in an argument with three of the older Musketeers: Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Meanwhile the evil Milady de Winter, in alliance with the Duke of Buckingham, plans to make the people of France rise up against the monarchy. Will D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers be able to foil her plan?

Robbie continued: “While we’ve stayed true to the spirit and basic set-up of Dumas’ original plot, we’ve obviously had to make a number of changes to make the story work as panto. We’ve added a Dame - played by a Drama League favourite, local vet Peter Stubbington, given Aramis a new character twist, given the principal boy a canine sidekick and even added a cameo appearance from a completely different French novel!”

Tickets are priced £6.50 for adults and £5 for children, and available from Clowes the Chemist, Burbage News or on the door. A special ‘buy one get one free’ offer on child tickets is available for the 7.30pm performance on February 3 and the 2.30pm performance on February 4.