Performers from the Bathford Players, an amateur dramatics group based in Bathford, paid a visit to children at Bathford Primary School on Wednesday 9 January to launch their annual pantomime poster competition.
This year the group are staging a new version of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Woods, adapted by Luke John Emmett (who also co-directs with Lisa Croker), in Bathford Parish Hall from Thursday 14 February to Saturday 16 February at 7:30pm and a 2:30pm matinee on the Saturday.
Four actors were invited along to the Bathford Primary School assembly to introduce the children to the pantomime and give them a quick taste of what they can expect if the come along and see the show. The children were then tasked with creating posters and those who win receive free tickets to see the production.
Luke John Emmett comments, “Bathford Primary School are always very supportive of us and I feel it’s important to create close links with young people and get them interested in drama at a young age. For many children a pantomime is the first theatrical experience they will have and we owe it to the next generation of theatre makers to help inspire these young people and get them interested in the performing arts. We hope that by having the actors visit the school this will help to inspire the children and make them want to be involved with our productions.”
The characters who visited the school included the Fairy of the Greenwood played by Emma Jackson, Nurse Nellie of Norton played by Ken Tatem and the Sheriff of Nottingham’s Witches Morgana and Mildred played by Jan Tatem and Anna Chippendale-Budd. They performed a series of short sketches and audience participation scenes with children and got them used to joining in with “he’s behind you” and booing the baddies and even getting Headteacher Matt Stone involved with a few scenes.
The new production is the last pantomime of the season in the Bath area falling within the February half term week.
The show itself is a traditional pantomime for all the family featuring the familiar gags and slapstick and an array of larger-than-life colourful characters.
Join Robin Hood, some VERY merry men, the Maid Marion and not forgetting Nurse Nellie of Norton as they battle to protect the Babes from the evil clutches of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Introduce Idle Jack, the local dim wit and two hapless witches to the mix and the rhyming green fairy of the woods and you have a recipe for complete chaos and comedy galore.
Adapted by Luke John Emmett, who co-directs with Lisa Croker this is a show with something for everyone. Expect quick wit, slapstick, singing, dancing in this fabulous little panto.
Luke says, “This is a truly traditional pantomime which involves many talented members of the community in Bathford as well as some new faces. Rehearsals are going incredibly well and this show really is going to be very funny. I’m a big believer that community pantomimes should be just that, something which champions and celebrates that amazing talent that resides in local communities. We are very lucky in Bathford to have an amazing group of talent to pick from and not just on the stage either. Our scenery is always a massive highlight of our shows and we have a very talented artist, Gillian Smith who has been working to create something that is going to be incredibly special.”
The show runs from Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 February 2013. Evenings 7:30pm with a matinee on the Saturday at 2:30pm. Tickets are £6 adults and £4 for children and are available from: Bathford Village Shop, www.bathfordplayers.co.uk or by phoning 01225 859111.