Rehearsals for Addingham Pantomime Group are reaching fever pitch as they prepare for this year’s production of Mother Goose.

Dances are being fine tuned and lines are almost learned, sets are up and props acquired but one job was still needing to be done – shave the Dame!

So the director Eleanor Ellis and the musical director Vickie Burns took the drastic step of forcing the Dame to lose his beard during last Sunday’s rehearsal.

The group have been incredibly successful over the last few years, winning lots of awards at the Wharfedale Festival of Theatre – including the award last year for best Dame for Paul Jennings who plays the Dame again this year.

Joining the now clean-shaven Dame on stage are stalwarts Andy and Vickie Burns, last year’s baddie Emma Turner turns regal as the Queen of Gooseland and a few of the cast from 2011 (the year the group won best panto) also return. Charles Arrowsmith plays the miserly Squire, Lauren Ellis plays Zoe Goose and Richard Vaughan once again plays the villain as the Demon Discontent.

They also welcome some newcomers. Lucy Hunter Rowe has the role of the good fairy and Chris Lloyd appears next to Richard Hunter Rowe as the wonderful comedy duo. The Dame and group chairman Paul Jennings said: “We are extremely proud of the success over the last few years, winning best panto at the Wharfedale Festival twice in three years is a real achievement.

“The production has been a complete sell-out for the past two years and I’m sure that’s a reflection of the wonderful work done behind the scenes by a really dedicated group of people.”

Performances are at the Memorial Hall, Main Street, Addingham, LS29 OPD, on February 21, 22, and 26, 27, 28 and March 1. For tickets call (01943) 831007.