WITH Valentine’s Day around the corner and Easter eggs on our supermarket shelves, you’d be forgiven for thinking panto season is over.
Well, oh no it isn’t . . .
For Mansfield Hospital’s Theatre Troupe is currently performing its own colourful adaptation of Sleeping Beauty at the town’s Palace Theatre.
It is the 34th year the troupe has taken to the stage to dazzle audiences with its own, unique brand of slap-stick humour and zany antics.
In that time more than £108,000 has been raised for local good causes, a truly remarkable achievement which everyone involved with the troupe is rightly proud of.
It is testament to the cast’s on-stage performances year in, year out that the audiences keep on returning to watch the annual farce!
And Saturday was no different as the Palace was packed for the opening performance of this year’s production.
Of course, Sleeping Beauty is the classic tale about the princess who gets cursed by an evil fairy and is put to sleep for 100 years.
But with any panto, the plot at times is irrelevant.
Good triumphs over evil, the boy gets the girl and along the way we all have a good laugh.
It is always unfair to single out individuals, but the work of director Scott McKenzie cannot go unnoticed.
He doubled up as Nurse Tickles, to ‘her’ friends Tess, and had what appeared to be a never-ending array of garish outfits.
Like every year, he had the huge number of youngsters in the audience in stitches with his quick wit and humour.
Popular stalwart Trevor Morley was ever-reliable as Lord Chamberlain, while Chris Evans as Jangles was once again a huge favourite with the children.
Double acts were aplenty this year, with Old King Cole (Simon Roebuck) and Good Queen Cheryl (Rachel Best) providing a touch of slapstick comedy to proceedings - while there were polished performances from the evil duo Caraboss (Rachel Marshall) and the impressive Joe Ladlow as Horrible Hooter.
There may have been the odd stumble over lines, but if you’re a regular at the Palace’s main festive panto and you’ve never tried this, you’re missing a treat.
The late seasonal silliness runs until Saturday, with tickets at £8 and £7 concessions.
For more details contact the Box Office on Mansfield 633133 or visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre.