Panto week has Spilsby smiling

Members of the cast of Robin Hood and the Lady who lives in a Shoe. ANL-160222-095811001
Members of the cast of Robin Hood and the Lady who lives in a Shoe. ANL-160222-095811001

Residents have something to smile about in Spilsby – because the town has just had its annual panto week.

Spilsby Local Amateur Pantomime Society (SLAPS) presented Robin Hood and the Lady who lives in a Shoe at the Kind Edward V1 Academy and had record-breaking audiences clapping to music even before it had started.

With the promise of Dennett’s icecream in the interval from the sponsors of the performance, the audience was quickly taken on a roller-coaster ride through the world of fairytale favourites.

The panto was a mix of well-known stories chosen to entertain children and those still young at heart - with Robin Hood, the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe and Rumpelstiltskin cleverly intertwined.

The lady who lives in a shoe is banished to the castle to spin gold out of her tresses (getting balder and balder as the story unfolded) and Robin Hood (Ann Hope) falls in love with the plucky Maid Marion (Penny Layzell) and, in true panto tradition, save the day with the help of the merry men.

This was after outwitting the baddies of the night - including Baron Hardnutt (Julie Chapman) and the Abbot of Hundleby (Ellie-Mae Dodds).

A truly community event, no-one was safe from the ad libbing – not even the Skegness Standard. At one point Pixie (Maureen Clarke) announced “I’ve got it off pat – but not you Mrs Brown.”

With a special songsheet produced for the night, there were no excuses for not joining in. Songs had been cleverly rewritten to fit with the story, with “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” becoming the Sherwood of Spilsby campfire song and the wild west Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Coates) providing the perfect opportunity for the audience to join in with “Sheeeeerwood forest, where the wind comes sweepin’ through the trees, and the outlaws bold, are often cold but want the sheriff on his knees.”

Written by local novelist Ed Lane it continued SLAP’s tradition of presenting untried scripts in a style that emphasises the use of language as humour.

It would be unfair to put any individual performances in from the cast of more than 20 in the spotlight - with the huge production team no-one could doubt the work put into making panto week something really special for the community.

Already SLAPS is looking for people to help with next year’s production. If you are interested, call Geraldine Willis on 01790 755434 or email