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May the farce be with you

Star Warped, The Wheatsheaf Players, Wyken Working Men's Club, until Feb 18.

Panto season is over…Oh no it’s not! Not this week at Wyken Working Men’s Club, anyway.

The venue might have seen better days, but there was a little kernel of warmth and colour to be found in the old concert lounge where the Wheatsheaf Players performed unseasonally to an appreciative audience that spanned the ages from infant to the venerable. Any resemblance to the Star Wars mega-franchise is co-incidental in this production- space travel and funny names account for nearly all of it. Princess Tia is to marry Obu wun Kabooby to unite their mutually hostile planets only for principal boy Scrub and the villainous Dark Hideous to ensure nothing goes smoothly. They are abetted in the creation of chaos by Dane Trump -the ‘dame’ of the panto- and not so little green aliens, Split and Splat.

The production owes some debt to these three, as it falls to them (mainly) to engage the audience in the standard panto repartee.

Lewis O’Hara, who also wrote Star Warped, does a fine job as the dame, as does Jane Beswarick as the manic Splat.

Credit should also be given to the unseen ‘Voice’, who narrates the action with engaging drollery. But this was a labour of love from the whole cast- and a special mention to little Riley who got up from the audience to perform ‘Agadoo’ like a seasoned trouper. Of course, it is an amateur performance on a budget many trillion dollars less than the film it parodies., There are times it creaks a bit and there were the first night glitches, so don’t go along with unrealistic expectations; but it’s warm-hearted and fun, and will entertain you if you let it. Friday 16th-Sunday 18th February 7.00pm; Matinees Saturday and Sunday 2.00pm

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