New dame for panto

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A NEW dame is stepping into the frocks at St Giles’ with St Mary’s Pantomime Society for this year’s production.

David Hookham is taking over from Eric Arundell, who was panto dame at the society for more than 30 years, and will play Dame Dotty Dimple in Jack and the Beanstalk.

Eric has decided to retire from the society this year, following the death of his wife Barbara, who was long-time producer of the pantomimes.

Jeannette Morgan, society chairman, said: “We were all very sad when Eric decided to step down, as the dame is such an important part in pantomime, but luckily David came to our rescue.”

David has been active in amateur dramatics since 1975, with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and Featherstone Operatic Society (now Encore Theatre Company).

His first involvement with St Giles’ Pantomime Society was as an accompanist, and then in 2003 he joined as musical director.

He said: “I am looking forward to taking on the role of dame for the very first time, fully aware that I have a great responsibility in filling big boots by following Eric Arundel, who entertained Pontefract audiences for many years.”

Jack and the Beanstalk is at Pontefract Town Hall on January 14-19, tickets cost £8, £6.50 concessions, and are on sale now, from St Giles’ Church on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm, or by calling 07563 952832.