Last year it was so good we did it again!

After the success of last year’s Christmas trip to the pantomime at the Opera House and celebration meal at Manchester Hall, the YPC decided to repeat the experience. The same cast of Jason Mansford, Jack, and Ben Nickless, Simple Simon, in this year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk clinched the deal. 

Last year’s panto was very good and we thought it would be difficult to improve on. This year’s pantomime was brilliant.

On the 28th December the YPC members were outside the Opera House to meet the invited families and distribute the tickets. When everybody had arrived and the ice cream order for the interval was placed, the committee members took their seats with our invited guests to watch the performance.

Last year the pairing of Jason Manford and Ben Nickless was the highlight of the show,

it would be difficult for them to improve on their performance. We were proved wrong. They are better.

The pantomime is a different version to others. To precis the plot Jack has a brother, Simon, and a love interest, princess Jill. He doesn’t have a mother so there isn’t a traditional panto dame. Myra Blunderbore, the giant’s wife, is the villain of the piece, devising a plot to steal the villagers’ animals for the giant’s feast. For some unfathomable reason Jack and Simon don’t climb the beanstalk, that magically appears at the side of the stage but use a magic flying car to arrive at the giant’s castle. After the ensuing battle all the animals are saved, Jack and Jill get married and everybody, except the giant, lives happily ever after. It’s absurd but it works. It kept our party absorbed and fully participating in all of the pantomime traditions, he’s behind you, cheering the goodies and booing the baddies. 

After the panto the committee members managed to gather all of the guests together and guide the group to Manchester Hall for a festive meal and a party. We were warmly received by David Dunleavy and the staff at Manchester Hall. After a drink and the Christmas dinner it was time to burn off the intake of calories on the dancefloor under the tutelage of our resident strictly expert Gary.

When everybody was beginning to flag and the distribution of the selection boxes it was time for home.

There are many people to thank for organising and managing the outing. Most notably, Karen for sending out the invites, tickets and managing all of the queries and replies. David Dunleavy and his team at Manchester Hall for the food, drinks service and not being too perturbed by the exuberance of our younger guests. Paul Ketcher for the music and Paul Doran for the place names and Christmas quiz. Finally, a big thank you to all of the committee members for their time.