© Barkway Players 2018
The Barkway Players
2016:  The Village Strikes Back Our highly original show, “The Village Strikes Back” proved to be a great success, with enthusiastic audiences witnessing our three performances.  The show built on the current Star Wars craze - it isn’t every pantomime that features a Darth Vader lookalike.  Could the downtrodden citizens of Barkway defeat the evil sheriff and persuade King John to sign the Magna Carta?  They might need some help from an unexpected source.  Who is the dark stranger living in the woods?  And what can be causing the strange lights and noises?    True to the Barkway Players’ own traditions, the show departed from traditional fairy tale stories and offered something  new - with plenty of laughter, well-known songs, recognisable characters and fun for all the family.  And the show raised £2,450, too! 2015:  Oh, Sherlock!  A whodunnit with a difference! “Oh, Sherlock” featured a famous detective, Barratt Soames, and his trusty sidekick, Dr Watsup. They were concerned with not one, but three cases: cats disappearing from all over London, a naughty nipper nabbing the ladies, and strange goings on at the local Music Hall. Evidently Pa Swine, landlord of the Frog and Giblets pub, was implicated – and he was keeping well clear of Soames, and giving the bumbling Peelers an even wider berth. When Buckingham Palace became involved the stage was set for a right royal caper.  The show featured everything you would hope for in a pantomime: audience participation, a cross-dressing prince and even – surely not – two ladies of ill repute.  Director Ann-Marie Kirkham said: “We wanted to do something this year. The show combined old-time music hall entertainment with Victorian melodrama.  This was the Barkway Players’ 23rd annual pantomime since the group was founded in 1992.  The show raised nearly £2,800 which will go towards the maintenance and development of Barkway Village Hall. 2017: Return to Oz As the Players marked 25 consecutive years of Barkway pantomimes, the 2017 show offered a nod to the very first production in the series, given in 1993.  Return to Oz featured Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion in a new and original adventure narrated by the Good Fairy, Barbara.  With the Wizard away on his travels, who could stop Voldemort and his rather dotty witchy mother dominating Oz and ruling it with a evil rod of iron?  Enter the Munchkin Defence Force - MDF for short - who seemed to bear a certain resemblance to a well-known television comedy about the Home Guard.  As Dorothy and the friends set off on their quest to find the Wiz and bring him back to Oz, they meet some familiar characters including three mermaids, Cinderella’s ugly sisters and three kings - yes, those three kings - and a young man celebrating his 9 and three-quarter-th birthday.  Another fun and happy show to mark this milestone year.  This year the panto raised £2,555 - another excellent fundraising success. 2014:  Red Riding Hood Little Red Riding Hood found herself contending with no less than three Grannies and a host of other tricky characters in the annual Barkway pantomime.  Alongside an evil witch and, of course, the Big Bad Wolf,  the show featured Edna Everage, a school of little witches, the Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel ,and the Famous Five, including Timmy the invisible dog.  How on earth did the Barkway Players weave them into the plot?  You had to be there to find out.  About 350 people were, over three performances, as the annual Panto once again played to full houses and wonderfully receptive audiences.   The pantomime raises money for Barkway Village Hall and was another fund-raising success, raising nearly £2,600.  Huge thanks to all concerned, on or off stage, and to everyone who supported the pantomime in any way. 2013:  The Pied Piper of Barkway "The varmints ‘ave eaten me Brussels!" This cry of frustration followed news that a plague of rats had descended on the innocent citizens of Barkway – to the consternation of the Major and the ladies of the WI, who seemed to run the place.  Farmer Randy was worried about his marrows (not to mention his aunt in Pontefract), and Dolores was concerned about business at her bed and breakfast. The Rat Queen had big ideas, incited by property developer Ivor.  But the handsome young stranger from Royston wasn’t going to allow any of this to distract him from his designs on the Major’s lovely daughter, Lovely.  When Fairy Else appeared and magically summoned superheroes Ratman and Mouseboy, Barkway's fortunes looked to be improving - but that was only the start and, little did the villagers know, the children were in great peril.  Packed houses at Barkway Village Hall soon found out how the story ended, and who became unlikely heroes.  Yes, it was panto time for the twenty-first consecutive year, on the first two days of February.  With the last few tickets being sold on the door on the Friday evening, it was another success for the Barkway Players.  Apart from those in the story, the Players had their own heroes: director Mike Barker, who managed to get everyone to dance, co-producers Jenny Warren and Jacqui Alexander, Marian Murphy, who made the colourful costumes, and Sue Sanders, whose scenery featuring Barkway High Street impressed everyone.  Those many who worked behind the scenes and front of house were heroes too.     And this year a four-piece band (Tom Hatfield, Linda Hatfield, John Holmes and Geoff Biron) provided wonderfully professional accompaniment.   It was a happy and successful show and raised a record-breaking sum of over £2,800 towards the maintenance and upkeep of the Village Hall.  Many thanks, as always, to all who took part and supported the show in any way. Our shows shows

2018: Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty proved to be another well-received show. Performed in Barkway’s traditional timeslot - the first weekend of February - the show featured all the characters you would expect to meet in the traditional Sleeping Beauty tale, alongside many you probably wouldn’t. We’ve had great feedback from audiences, some of whom said they hadn’t laughed so much in a long time. Characters such as Prince the Dog and (dare I say it) three male ballet dancers in string vests will live long in the memory - we hope for the right reasons! And the show made a profit for the village hall of about £2,670 - an excellent result.
©Barkway Players 2018

2017: Return to Oz

As the Players marked 25 consecutive years of Barkway pantomimes, the 2017 show offered a nod to the very first production in the series, given in 1993. Return to Oz featured Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion in a new and original adventure narrated by the Good Fairy, Barbara. With the Wizard away on his travels, who could stop Voldemort and his rather dotty witchy mother dominating Oz and ruling it with a evil rod of iron? Enter the Munchkin Defence Force - MDF for short - who seemed to bear a certain resemblance to a well-known television comedy about the Home Guard. As Dorothy and the friends set off on their quest to find the Wiz and bring him back to Oz, they meet some familiar characters including three mermaids, Cinderella’s ugly sisters and three kings - yes, those three kings - and a young man celebrating his 9 and three-quarter-th birthday. Another fun and happy show to mark this milestone year. This year the panto raised £2,555 - another excellent fundraising success.
The Barkway Players

2018: Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty proved to be another well-received show. Performed in Barkway’s traditional timeslot - the first weekend of February - the show featured all the characters you would expect to meet in the traditional Sleeping Beauty tale, alongside many you probably wouldn’t. We’ve had great feedback from audiences, some of whom said they hadn’t laughed so much in a long time. Characters such as Prince the Dog and (dare I say it) three male ballet dancers in string vests will live long in the memory - we hope for the right reasons! And the show made a profit for the village hall of about £2,670 - an excellent result.
Our shows shows