A DEDICATED group of actors and artists brought together a successful pantomime show to sold-out crowds.

Wickham Bishops Drama Club performed their latest pantomime, based on the classic Dick Whittington tale,  to more than 450 people.

This was the drama club's first pantomime since the pandemic and they were over the moon with the response from the public.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Backstage: members of the cast backstageBackstage: members of the cast backstage (Image: Wickham Bishops Drama Club)

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Villain: evil queen rat played by Alison OllettVillain: evil queen rat played by Alison Ollett (Image: Wickham Bishops Drama Club)

The audience booed and hissed the evil Queen Rat played by Alison Ollett and cheered for good fairy Bow Bells played by Pauline Roast.

Dick Whittington was played by Leigh Perry, his cat was played by Debbie Irby and Idle Jack was played by Nick Hewes.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

Alice Fitzwarren was played by Teresa Paddon, Alderman Fitzwarren was played by Charlie Willett, Sarah the Cook was played by Ross McTaggart and Sue Matten was the Sultana.

The chorus was made up of Nicholle Paddon, Robyn Tyler and Anne Hewett.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Performance: Fairy Bow Bells played by Pauline Roast and Sarah the Cook played by Ross McTaggartPerformance: Fairy Bow Bells played by Pauline Roast and Sarah the Cook played by Ross McTaggart (Image: Wickham Bishops Drama Club)

Stage manager James Bacon led the team of Michelle Bacon, Max Luscombe and Kate Dawson behind the scenes.

The lighting and sound were managed by Robert Brown and Ken Matten, and the sets and scenery were made by Alan Roast, Paul Welton and Charlie Willett.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Pantomime: cast in song on stagePantomime: cast in song on stage (Image: Wickham Bishops Drama Club)

Costumes were made in-house by Jenny Higgins, Nicola Thomas and Ruth Johnson.

Director James Milne said: “With more than 450 tickets sold and a sold-out matinee it was clear to see how many people had missed us putting them on.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Cast: Members of the castCast: Members of the cast (Image: Wickham Bishops Drama Club)

“We’ve had so much feedback from audience members saying they haven’t laughed so much in ages, and that their children and grandchildren loved their first time experiencing live theatre.

“It was a real joy and honour to be able to direct such a funny script with such an amazing cast and crew.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Musical: actors performing their scenesMusical: actors performing their scenes (Image: Wickham Bishops Drama Club)

“After winning Best Pantomime/Children’s Play at the 2023 NODA Awards for 2022’s show ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Best Pantomime/Children’s Play for 2023’s The Gingerbread Man from the North Essex Theatre Guild, it is a real boost to see our club recognised for its amazing talent, and we hope this year will be no different.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Entertaining: the cast on stageEntertaining: the cast on stage (Image: Wickham Bishops Drama Club)

“We are now nominated for The Gingerbread Man in this year’s NODA Awards in the same category as well as Best Drama for 2023’s play Alter Ego.”

Their next production will be held in spring on April 12 and 13.