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Diamond celebration for panto players

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

  • 1984: Sinbad the Sailor

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IPPLEPEN Amateur Dramatic Society, which is gearing up for its annual pantomime, is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

The group, which started with 24 members, produced its first show in 1952.

They put on the Devonshire comedy Golden Harvest, which was written by Loddiswell school mistress Christian Michell, in November.

It was performed in the old School Room.

As the production was so successful they went on to stage Front Page Girl the following February and the group has since put on two to three shows and plays a year including South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof and My Fair Lady.

Joan Job, who is a founding member of the group, is still involved today and is a life vice president.

The dynamics of the society have changed over the years, but the ethos remains the same.

"We've moved away from hosting plays and have been doing more variety shows to help local charities and importantly members are from the local community are still involved," said Dennis Smith, president of the society.

"We have to raise funds each time we do a play, as the rights costs are about £85 a performance, so it's important we are supported.

"We're lucky locals do get behind us."

With the panto season well under way, they'll perform the Young Sherlock Holmes and the Case of Dick Whittington's Cat by Craig Hewlett.

The cast of 25 will stage the family friendly show from January 31 to February 2 at Ipplepen Village Hall.

It's being directed by 18-year-old Bethany Finch and is being produced by regular Lucy Popham.

"It's a shame we don't have more youngsters in our group, but these days they seem to have more to do with their time, like play on games consoles," said Dennis, who joined the society in 1969.

"However, we do have a dedicated and committed team which keeps the group going and there are some real talents."

For tickets to the pantomime, call 01803 812653.

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