Nothing like a dame at panto extravaganza

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THERE is nothing like a dame, so the song goes.

And Bulwell’s very own, ‘cheeky chappie’ Haydn Taylor, was one of the shining stars of the Nottingham West Music and Drama Society’s (NOWMADS) production of the pantomime ‘Dick Whittington’.

Haydn, of Northolme Avenue, is a local-government officer by day. But he has become something of a standing dish when it comes to donning his wigs and outrageous costumes for the NOWMADS. And as Sarah The Cook in this delightful show, the funny man with a terrific voice and mastery of ad lib was one of the class acts.

Talented teenager Merle Harrison (16), of Watnall, stepped out of the chorus to take on her first principal role for NOWMADS. And she gave a towering performance as the thigh-slapping hero, Dick Whittington, in the panto staged at the Kimberley School.

Directed by former Hucknall resident Martin Belcher, NOWMADS’ rags-to-riches tale of a young boy’s journey was a triumph of teamwork.

The journey takes the boy from the cobbled streets of London to the exotic climes of the Far East where he overcomes the awesome might of the repulsive rodent King Rat, to return home as a conquering hero who becomes Lord Mayor of the city.

Hannah Lishman endeared herself to the audience with a sparkling performance as the fairy Bowbells — an Essex girl who was more than a match for the rat master — while the delightful Kelly Wakefield shone as Alice Fitzwarren.

A fabulous all-singing, all-dancing chorus, the appeal of a five-piece orchestra and the brilliant backstage and front-of-house team played their parts in a production that was out of the top drawer.

What’s more, part of the profits from the production will go to support Nottingham Breast Cancer Research.

OUR PHOTO shows the panto cast, with director Martin Belcher (centre in dress suit). (PHOTO AND REVIEW BY: Peter Jordan).