Sleeping beauty with a twist

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Once upon a time in The Parish of Taddy on the Wharfe, lived a beautiful Princess. Oh yes there did!

It must be pantomime time! Oh yes it is!

Tadcaster Theatre Company will present Sleeping Beauty in November this year, a pantomime for all the family, which has been especially written for Tadcaster.

Scriptwriter Alan P Frayn has provided a customised version of his popular pantomime to bring it right up to the 21st century.

Before midnight on her 16th birthday, Princess Rose, played by Kelly Bolland, shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and she will die. Bad Witch Hazel (Alison Davies) gets wind of this and knows that the Princess will be moved to the other side of the river where spinning wheels haven’t been invented yet. “I’d better put a stop to that!” thinks the Bad Witch.

She creates a terrible storm to have the ancient Wharfe bridge washed away forever – “splitting up your precious town, the night that bridge came tumbling down.”

Obviously there are other references to Tadcaster and musical numbers include Bridge Over Troubled Water. There are also two Princes in this pantomime!

“With the current situation with the broken bridge and the town being divided in two, we thought it would be a great idea to have this year’s pantomime adapted to provide us with a fresh up-to-date angle on an old classic,” said Chairman Catherine Marshall.

“We are very grateful to Alan for re-writing his script at no additional charge and we will actually be donating 50 per cent of ticket sales profit to the Tadcaster Flood Support and Fundraising Group.

“We are also extremely grateful to Balfour Beatty and, especially, Site Manager Dave Robinson for allowing us to take promotional photographs at the bridge in Tadcaster,” she added.

An impressive cast list has been put together. Apart from Princess Rose (Kelly Bolland from Tadcaster) and Bad Witch Hazel (Alison Davies from Sherburn-In-Elmet), characters include King Cactus (Phil Nicholls from Batley), Queen Marigold (Diane Eyers from York), Nurse Dottie Dettol (Gordon Fawcett from Wakefield), Muddles (Tamsyn Chadwick from Tadcaster), Prince Alexis (Louise McDonald from Sherburn-In-Elmet), Fetch and Carrie (Mother and daughter Joanne Hawkins and Becky Hawkins from Tadcaster) and Good Fairy Lilac (Jane Fawcett from Wakefield).

“As well as the traditional panto characters, we always encourage the whole cast to be more than just chorus/villagers etc,” said Director Angela Edwards. “We have Harry Herald (Town Crier), Freddie Fanfare (Herald trumpeter) plus Mother Superior and the little Sisters of Dazelwooh, who make several appearances throughout the storyline.

“We also have a mini group of witches ‘Little Mixers’ and the ‘Rainbow Tribe’ and, of course, no Tadcaster pantomime would be the same without Colin the Crow!”

Will good rule over evil? Will the beautiful Princess be awoken by the handsome Prince as he tries to get from one side of the bridge to the other in the Parish of Taddy on the Wharfe? Will they all live happily ever after?

Directed by Angela Edwards and with James Rodgers as Musical Director, Sleeping Beauty and the Broken Bridge will be presented from November 22-26 at the Riley-Smith Hall, Tadcaster.

Tickets are available from https://www, or telephone the ticket hotline on 07502 506438, or visit but organisers warn to act quickly as they are expected to sell out.