Aladd-in dame’s clothing

This Is Wiltshire: Pete Grant as the Widow Twankey with other Trowbridge Players in the cast of the popular pantomime Aladdin Pete Grant as the Widow Twankey with other Trowbridge Players in the cast of the popular pantomime Aladdin

There is nothing like a dame – as the song goes – and North Bradley amateur actor Pete Grant knows that more than most.

Pete, 66, has been treading the boards with local drama groups for decades and perfecting the role of the panto dame.

An accounting clerk with Wincanton Transport, he joined North Bradley Players when he came to Trowbridge from Yeovil. Since then he has starred in parts with Trowbridge Operatic and Trowbridge Players and always a dame at panto time.

Next week he steps out again as Widow Twankey in the latest Trowbridge Players pantomime Aladdin at the Arc Theatre, and he said: “I just love playing the role of the Dame. It’s a part unlike one in a straight play – you are allowed a wandering role where you can work with the audience and have fun.”

The production is directed by Sylvia Seaman and written by Angela Giddings.

Angela, a member of Trowbridge Players for many years, said: “It’s fantastic to break down the ‘fourth wall’ of theatre and interact with the audience, especially the children who take the whole thing very seriously.

“Not only do the children take it seriously but we do too – the audience won’t laugh at you if you’re trying to be funny, the humour has to come from the characters and how they interact with each other.

“Also, this is quite often the first visit to the theatre for many children and we aim to make it as much fun as possible.”

Aladdin opens at the Arc Theatre next Thursday – January 10 – with a production at 6.30pm, Friday at 7.30pm, Saturday, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Sunday at 2.30pm; the following week’s performances begin on Thursday, January 17, at 6.30pm, Friday at 7.30pm, Saturday at 2.30pm and Sunday at 2.30pm. Ticketsare available online at www.arctheatre.org.uk or the box office on 01225 766241.

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