Panto troupe to boost £120,000 raised for worthy causes

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Sparkle and slapstick will be just the tonic to ward off the post-Christmas blues when super troupers stage their annual panto.

Mansfield Hospital Theatre Troupe will be parading its merry men - and women - in Robin Hood & The Babes in the Wood at the Palace Theatre.

The company donates all its profits to local worthy causes, and has raised a massive £120,000 since launching in 1979.

Papplewick Disabled Riding Association, Dementia Care and Helping Hands at Edwinstowe will be the main beneficiaries from this season’s panto, which has been written by Alan P Frayn.

Robin Hood is the story of an outlaw who robbed from the rich to give to the poor, but panto audiences will be gently encouraged to part with their hard-earned cash.

Trevor Morley, chairman, said: “Our pantos attract a multi-national audience judging by the bucket collection which comprised American 2 cents, French 10 centimes, two Polish Zioty and 1 Latvian Lat.”

New director Chris Evans said: “I have always enjoyed the folkore of Robin Hood and in this day and age being reminded to look out for others and do the right thing is a strong message to deliver.

“I liked the link to our own Sherwood Forest and felt that the character list gave an opportunity to cast some of our more youthful members.”

Panto performers range from five years old to nearly pensionable age, headed by Rachel Best as Robin Hood and Sarah Clark as Maid Marian.

Trevor Brownley is cast as the dame Nurse Nellie Knickerlastic, Martin Killick plays the Sheriff of Nottingham and George Morley and Jasmine Partridge play the Babes.

Allan Ward is musical director, Joanne Wilson and Sarah McCubbin are choreographers.

Robin Hood & The Babes in the Wood runs on January 23 at 2.15pm and from January 25 to 30 at 7.15pm. Tickets £8 and £7 (concessions).

For more details on tickets for Mansfield Hospital Theatre Troupe’s forthcoming production, you can call the box office at Mansfield Palace Theatre on 01623 633133 or you can go online to www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre