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Bishop's Cleeve Players prepare for unique panto

All Areas > Entertainment > Theatre

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Thursday, 29th November 2018, 14:30

The Bishops Cleeve Players The Bishops Cleeve Players

“This is what you get when you cross ‘Red Riding Hood’ and the parable of ‘The Good Samaritan’ mixed in with mafia gangs, wise guys and some unruly chavs.”

That’s the summary of the Bishop's Cleeve Players’ upcoming Christmas pantomime from Marina Magdalena, the Yorkshire-based writer of ‘Little Red Riding – In the Hood’.

The story has been modified for pantomime by Sandy Newman, who has been with the Bishop's Cleeve Players for around thirty years.

“I wrote to Marina and her husband about the possibility of adapting the story for pantomime,” said Sandy, “they were very kind and said do as you please with it, so I added some parts and removed some characters to tailor it to the needs of an amateur theatre company.

“There’s a certain formula for panto that gives them all a similar feel, but this one has some totally different elements to other shows.”

Sandy, who will be directing and playing two separate roles in the show, is looking forward to the challenge and working with a talented team.

She continued: “We’ve got some great actors – Michelle Midwinter and Nick Watson who’ll be our chavs, Brian Paterson and Nathan Weller as our inept ‘wise guys’.

“My husband Tony is playing the Wolf – we like to keep it in the family! We’ve had some new members too, people who have recently moved to Cleeve, heard about us and wanted to get involved.

“We’ve got a great mix of young and old – Lucy Payne who plays Redina goes to Pate’s Grammar School, and we recruited one of our lighting engineers, Shaun Smith, from the Bishop's Cleeve Street Fair. He’s only 15 years old!”

Rehearsals for the show began in late October, following the success of their recent Variety Show, which raised over £1,000 for the Royal British Legion.

“It’s our shortest rehearsal time for a panto ever,” Sandy explained, “but it’s definitely sharpened us up.”

“We had such great feedback from our Variety Show and we’re looking to do it again next year. It’s nice to do something a bit different and to raise money for charity.”

‘Little Red Riding – In the Hood’ is at the Tithe Barn in Bishop's Cleeve at 7pm on Friday 14th December and Saturday 15th December.

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