Blackbirds will descend for annual pantomime in form of Sing a Song of Sixpence

The cast of Sing a Song of Sixpence, being performed at Blackhall Community Centre.
The cast of Sing a Song of Sixpence, being performed at Blackhall Community Centre.

A classic nursery rhyme is the inspiration for a village drama group’s annual pantomime.

The curtain is due to go up shortly on Blackhall Community Drama Group’s annual show.

The cast of Sing a Song of Sixpence, being performed at Blackhall Community Centre.

The cast of Sing a Song of Sixpence, being performed at Blackhall Community Centre.

This year’s tale is called Sing a Song of Sixpence and features dames, singing and dancing and a story of good overcoming evil.

It is brought together by a dedicated team of about 35 cast and crew who have been rehearsing since September.

Show seamstress Margaret Stephenson said: “It is a lovely story.

“It is based on the nursery rhyme where a queen gives a king a magic crown.

The cast of Sing a Song of Sixpence, being performed at Blackhall Community Centre.

The cast of Sing a Song of Sixpence, being performed at Blackhall Community Centre.

“The evil witch wants the crown so she sends blackbirds to steal it and in doing so they also pinch the maid’s nose.

“Unlike the nursery rhyme, we haven’t got four and twenty blackbirds, we have only got eight!

“It is a traditional pantomime where good overcomes evil.

Cast and crew meet three times a week at Blackhall Community Centre as opening night approaches.

Margaret added: “We have been rehearsing since September, then we have February off and start again on our summer show.

“It is a lot of hard work, you have to be dedicated. I must do about 300 hours sewing.

“We have got wardrobes of clothes from over the years but there is a lot of alterations to adapt them for different people.”

The drama group has been staging an annual pantomime in the village for close to 60 years.

And organisers are expecting healthy audiences once again.

Margaret added: “We thank everybody for their support. People come from York, Harrogate and down from Scotland, people who have been involved and moved away.

“Also people come from Billingham, Sunderland and Sedgefield.”

People can see the show at the community centre on Heselden Road from Tuesday, January 24, to Saturday, January 28.

Produced by Carole Scott and Catherine Hall, it is performed at 7pm on week nights and at 2pm only on the Saturday.

Tickets are £4 available on (0191) 5867396 or (0191) 5871851.