Classic panto put on by 'big community effort' sells out Memorial Hall four times over

By Toby Leigh in Entertainment

THE art of pantomime continues to go from strength to strength in one South Hams town, with four sold-out performances of the latest production given to rapturous acclaim at the weekend.

This year the Modbury Pantomime group chose the classic The Elves and the Shoemaker to put on at the town’s Memorial Hall.

The story, which featured in Grimms Fairy Tales, was adapted with a script by Modbury panto stalwarts Nigel and Felicity Guild, who produced and directed the show as usual. Nigel also featured as the Shoemaker’s Wife.

Nigel reported a very successful year with all four performances going really well and the last, on Saturday night, being especially festive. He noted the music and singing had been particularly good this year, with some songs of a higher standard than ever before, thanks in part to musical director Jo Highley and the Highley-Dubious Band.

He also singled out the set, designed by local artist John Ashton for particular praise, saying the transformations using UV lights had been fantastic. The inclusion of ballet in the production, with the assistance of the Margaret Baldwin Theatre Academy, was also a great success.

Preparations for the pantomime began at the end of last summer, with an open meeting in September for anyone wishing to be involved. Parts are then written around the people who will play them.

Nigel added: ’Thanks to everyone that was in it and everyone who came. It is all a big community effort, and that’s what makes it so much fun.’

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