Historically, the traditional pantomime has been delighting audiences for centuries and this year, the Dunchurch Pantomaniacs celebrate quite a milestone in their history as they celebrate a 30th year anniversary.
The group formed in 1990 and ‘tested the water’ with a production of ‘Little Miss Muffet.’ So well received was the show that a second production followed in 1991 and the rest as they say is history. Each year since, the Pantomaniacs have produced an accomplished annual production and although initially only one or two members had previous stage and production experience, most others learnt their craft in situ to very professional results. The occasional mishaps in the earlier years only served to add humour to already funny shows and further endeared the group to their audiences who were appreciative of their endeavours and whose hardcore supporters have remained loyal ever since.
Nowadays, the Pantomaniacs produce a slick and professional show and have through experience added to their repertoire by writing their own productions. Their January 2019 performance of ‘Billy the Kid’ offers a ‘rip roaring wild west romp’ which is sure to provide the audience with plenty of opportunity to exercise their chuckle muscles as well as raising funds for charity. Indeed, those who have participated or supported the group over the last 30 years have been instrumental in raising over £80,000 for local good causes. This has included the provision of a disability scooter, an electric wheelchair, a stair lift, two hospital type beds for home use by the disabled as well as equipment for hospital and doctor’s surgeries and the list goes on.
The amateur group has also nurtured youngsters and several have gone on to make a career out of the arts industry. Of course, today regulations involving the participation of children is much more stringent than 30 years ago and as such, the Pantomaniacs have embraced these changes and have appointed and trained a number of chaperones to ensure the safety of their young folk. Indeed, it is the groups determination to continue moving with the times that has led to the Pantomaniacs longevity.
Whilst there can be no doubt that putting on a show like this involves a lot of hard work, ask any member of the team and you will be assured that the efforts are well worth it. Payback is certainly bountiful in the amount of fun involved and from the laughter of the audience. If you would like to find out more about being a part of this ‘payback,’ e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, tickets for the new production which opens at the Village Hall on Friday January 18th will be on sale from December in Wanda Fashions of Dunchurch or from Wild and Free, Bank Street, Rugby. Prices, adults £7, seniors £6 and children up to 16 £4. There is also a special gala night performance with a meal for £15.
Here’s to the next 30 years!
Written by Sue Protheroe