Pantomime fun promised at national finals
Panto punch lines will entertain a packed Opera House theatre at the Winter Gardens next Saturday 5 May when three YFCs take to the stage to battle it out for the national Performing Arts' title.
YFC members from Brampton YFC in Cumbria, Erwood YFC in Brecknock and Cheriton & Tedburn YFC in Devon will all be putting on a full afternoon of entertainment for Annual Convention-goers and supporters from home.
Erwood YFC will be performing Return to Neverland – a story about how things have changed when Wendy and her brothers return to Neverland. The pantomime has been written and produced by Samuel Powell and this small Brecknock club are delighted to be performing in the national final for the first time.
“We have lots of family and friends coming to support us as well as many Brecknock YFC members,” said Club leader Wendy Powell. “We have been busy fundraising and have been very fortunate to receive sponsorship from local businesses to help with the cost of getting the set and cast to Blackpool. We can’t wait to perform Return to Neverland and we hope everyone enjoys it as much as we have enjoyed doing it. Oggi, Oggi, Oggi.”
Brampton YFC will be performing Dick Whittington in a production that has been written by Brampton YFC, produced by Club Leader Anne Laird and directed by Gordon Brown. The performance tells the tale of how Dick Whittington tries to find fame, fortune and love on his travels to London.
Brampton has made it to the national finals of Drama before but this will be their first time performing in a Pantomime on a national stage. This is the first competition that some of the cast have ever taken part in too so to the club have said it will be an ‘amazing experience’ for them to be at the national final.
Anne said: “Parents, family and friends will be travelling with us to Blackpool and with over 700 Cumbrian members attending the AGM weekend I’m sure the support in the theatre will be amazing – not just for Brampton YFC but for all the clubs who are competing.
“Thanks to the generosity of our local primary school and livestock auction we have been able to hold our final rehearsals in space of comparative size to the Opera House so the cast can get used to entrances and exits taking longer.”
Cheriton and Tedburn YFC only found out they were through to the national final two weeks before the Convention due to the weather causing a delay to the Southern regional final.
The Club will perform Aladd-out of Town, which has been written by Richard Tucker and produced by him and Dan Grist. The story is about Port Rummikin being left in the ‘not so’ capable hands of Aladdin’s son Toni. Expect to see Gary the Great, fairy dust and doughnuts in this lively performance from Devon.
Dan, who won best actor at the Southern Regional Final, said the club are excited to be returning to the Opera House after competing there in the national final of the Entertainments competition a few years ago.
“We know how amazing the atmosphere is on the day, but it is so nice to be able to do it again with a whole new wave of members experiencing it for the first time. We’ve had to make it through four rounds to get to the finals so we are all very keen to perform it one last time and try and do Southern Area proud!
We’ve had a lot of rehearsals in our village hall over the past few months – putting on charity performances in local venues, so that we get to practise with full audience participation, which is of course crucial in making a great panto!
The Panto would never have been able to happen without everyone helping behind the scenes – parents and supporters – so it is great to see them all coming up with us to Blackpool. We are hoping a big crowd from Devon will come to support us on the day!”