Diana Ross

Chain Reaction

Upstagers Bring Bear-illiant Pantomime Back to Ilkley!

Joey Wilby as Silly Billy

After what seems like a lifetime the Upstagers pantomime is returning to the King’s Hall in Ilkley between the 28th January and 5th February 2022 with ten performances in all including three matinees with their fun filled, family pantomime, Goldilocks and the Three Bears!

It has been two long years in which the world has changed hugely since the award winning Upstagers pantomime team took to the stage. But one thing that you can rely on is that theatre and Upstagers are back to brighten up your day

The show is a telling of the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears but as a pantomime. It is a story that originally dates back to the 19th century and is a classic and well loved fairy tale of a family of good natured bears who live in a cottage in the woods and who are disturbed by a girl who creates havoc by eating their porridge and sleeping in their beds. Upstagers have updated the story and created a pantomime setting, but which is still very much identifiable as the story we all know and love.

As Goldilocks looks forward to the annual visit of Dame Dottie Dumpling’s Circus, there is trouble afoot as the evil Ringmaster Helmut Von Schtinkenpooper and his horrible Circus of Horrors tries to put them out of business and become the only circus in town. Things look grim for Dame Dottie and her well meaning son, Silly Billy. What they need is to find a new star attraction to bring in the crowds so they can afford to pay their pitch fees to Goldilock’s father, the local Baron and land owner. Along the way our heroes encounter mystical mayhem and dastardly deeds, but with the help of a magical fairy posing as a circus performer and some furry friends, will they find what they are looking for? All will be revealed in a show packed with family fun, amazing songs, spectacular dance routines and many, many terrible jokes. It is definitely a show not to be missed.

Reprising their hugely successful and award winning performances from past shows are Lois Brook as Goldilocks and Harry Hodge as Dame Dottie Dumpling, along with Ilkley’s favourite pantomime villain George Scaife as the evil Ringmaster Helmut Von Schtinkenpooper. Joey Wilby returns to the cast as Silly Billy, following a professional pantomime season on the South Coast and all are ably supported by a talented cast of local performers, it is set up to be a spectacular production.

The co-director of the show, Andrew Hewitt says “We have another amazing show on the cards again after the disappointment of the pandemic related cancellations of last year. The team have been working tirelessly to put on a pantomime in a really difficult situation that has given us so many new obstacles to think about and overcome, but with the support of our dedicated team, the amazing work from Bradford Theatres and the King’s Hall staff and a bunch of resilient and ever optimistic performers, we are confident of putting on a really fun packed show that above all is safe for everyone. We were devastated at having to cancel our pantomime last year in the face of Covid restrictions and so the cast, from the main principal performers right down to our younger tinies, are so looking forward to getting back on stage and entertaining the audiences that we love to see coming through the doors. I’d urge everyone to come along to support our local performers and have a great time whilst doing so.”

Upstagers will be supporting the Pink Ribbon Foundation charity during the pantomime run, whose mission is to fund projects which relieve the needs of people and families affected by breast cancer, some of who are close to the Upstagers family over this last year.

Tickets for the pantomime are available on the Upstagers website www.upstagers.org.uk/boxoffice, by calling 0333 666 3366 or by calling the local box office on 01943 607944 (restricted hours apply).

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