It’s back!?Oh, yes it is!

Wednesday 25th January 2012 12:00 am

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IN JUST a week's time the first pantomime will be performed in Gunnislake for 40 years and the village is eager with anticipation.

The local cast of 32, whose ages range from pre-teens to 80, have been rehearsing twice-weekly since September for 'Babes in the Wood'.

The sell-out performances will be on February 2 and 3 and two performances on February 4 in Gunnislake Primary School.

Vice-chairman of GLAD (Gunnislake Amateur Dramatics) Lorna Baker said the village had lollipop man Mark Haydon and postmistress Mary Taylor to thank for bringing the community together.

'They wanted to galvanise the village and last March we had the first meeting to see if anyone was interested in putting on a panto again,' she said.

'We started with a sketch at the Gunnislake Festival, written and directed by the postmistress's daughter, Corinna Taylor, who is 17, and it just went from there.'

Former BBC Radio producer Lorna enlisted the skills of friend and professional actor/director Mark Seaman, who lives in Plymouth, and before long many people were coming forward with expertise in such things as costume making, sets and props, lighting and sound and stage management.

Mark has written and published the 'Babes in the Wood' script, which is being performed for the first time worldwide by GLAD.

Some of the old costumes from the 1970s when the Gunnislake panto was in its heyday have been discovered, dusted off and about one third of them put back in use.

Lorna said: 'People actually look forward to rehearsing on Tuesdays and Thursdays — it's been a real social thing and such fun. Mark shouts at us but also makes us laugh.'

'The dates are a sell-out so we think the whole community is looking forward to the pantomime. It is a traditional pantomime with a Gunnislake flavour.'

GLAD now has more than 50 members and feels that the level of local interest sparked by this panto has gone a long way towards fulfilling one of its main founding objectives which is to bring together, and create a focus for, the village community.


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