Quirky Barkway Players pick up panto baton from successful Royston CADS

PUBLISHED: 13:15 03 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:15 03 February 2016

The cast applaud a tremendous run of performances of Aladdin.

The cast applaud a tremendous run of performances of Aladdin.


As the curtain went down on Royston panto Aladdin at the weekend, producer Ian Cowley reflected on the success of the show, which saw record audiences for five out of six of its performances.

The cast of The Village Strikes BackThe cast of The Village Strikes Back

With a total of 1,250 people turning up to watch, the record-breaking CADS panto attracted audiences from as far as Bedford, Milton Keynes, Bishop’s Stortford, Romford and Enfield.

Ian said: “We had an excellent team and this really was reflected in the shows themselves.

“There are too many people to thank individually – everyone sees the on-stage cast, but we also had a dedicated team of 30 backstage crew, so we had around 60 members of CADS involved in total.

“Panto is a huge job to put on, but we love it and really enjoy bringing it to Royston. We’re already planning next year’s pantomime, and of course we’ll be putting on a show for the arts festival later this year and hopefully something dramatic in late spring too.

Luke (Rowena Bonfield) takes on Daft Ada (Tom Wornham)Luke (Rowena Bonfield) takes on Daft Ada (Tom Wornham)

“I would like to publicly thank Meridian School and the team there for letting us perform in between their busy schedules.”

The team is always looking for new members, who can get in touch via the website at www.cadsroyston.org.uk.

But as one curtain comes down, another one goes up, and this weekend will see the Barkway Players bring their pantomime The Village Strikes Back to the stage.

The plot is entirely the creation of the Barkway team, and the quirky premise isn’t your usual run of the mill fairy-tale.

A scenew from The Village Strikes BackA scenew from The Village Strikes Back

Featuring characters from Star Wars, Star Trek and Blackadder, the show mixes science fiction with medieval history.

Watch to see if the downtrodden citizens of Barkway can defeat the evil sheriff and persuade King John to sign the Magna Carta.

Barkway villagers have performed a pantomime at the village hall for 24 consecutive years, and have gained a reputation for doing something a bit different.

Edwin Kilby, one of the founder members, said: “The timing is great, because it gives everyone in the group something creative to look forward to in the period after Christmas.”

The pantomime raises money for the maintenance and upkeep of Barkway Village Hall, which this year celebrates its 90th anniversary. Performances take place at Barkway Village Hall tomorrow, Friday, at 8pm and Saturday, at 2pm and 8pm. Call 01763 848347 for tickets.

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