Pantomime delayed by Covid taking to the stage

Mother Goose is going ahead in Horning after it was delayed by Covid in 2022.

Robin Baines is taking to the stage in Mother Goose.The pantomime should have gone ahead in January 2022 but was delayed due to uncertainty around Covid. - Credit: HATS

The search for Mother Goose's golden egg is continuing into the spring after the show could not go ahead due to Covid.

Horning Amateur Theatrical Society (HATS) is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the production during a four day run which starts on Thursday, March 10.   

It should have taken place in January but was postponed because of uncertainty about the impact of the Omicron variant.

The previous year's production had to be abandoned altogether because of the third national Covid lockdown. 

The group was set up  four decades ago, when Horning gained a purpose-built village hall.

One of the members at the time, the Horning postman John Fairhead, was keen to start an annual pantomime and recruited players on his rounds.  

Since then it has become part of the fabric of village life, the group says. 

Mother Goose is going ahead in Horning after it was delayed by Covid in 2022.

From left to right Pam Facey, Robin Baines and Lynette Foreman prepare to finally take to the stage in their annual pantomime Mother Goose in Horning. - Credit: HATS

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Spokesperson Jane Bowden said: "It has taken a lot of determination and hard work to ensure this year’s production, written by Ben Crocker, can go ahead.

"Rehearsals started in September, and the local community has worked very hard to make the Mother Goose production very special and full of surprises. 

"It has a cast of 28 actors including local children and an army of behind-the-scenes volunteers, looking after the music, lighting, prompting, costumes and scene shifting.

"The intricate stage scenery has taken months to design and paint, along with the creation of a life size moose’s head and other special effects."

 The show’s producer Maxine McFarland said: "Local people have put their heart and soul into this panto, and we are hoping it will be a sell-out show. 

"With so many stops and starts it has been very difficult to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going so I am particularly proud of what we have achieved." 

Performances are being staged at Horning Village Hall, Mill Hill, Horning, on Thursday March 10 and Friday March 11 at 7.30pm and on Saturday March 12 and Sunday March 13 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. 

Tickets £6 and £4 from Tidings Newsagents in Horning, Abbotts Countrywide Estate Agents in Hoveton, or via 01692 630751.