Panto veteran steps out of limelight

editorial image

PANTO king Roy Staniforth has taken his final curtain call.

He is stepping back after 67 years as the creator, dame and inspiration for Wales Panto Players, based at Wales-Kiveton Methodist Church, whose shows are an annual institution at the Montgomery Theatre in Sheffield.

“I always said I would know when it was time to quit and I did,” said Roy, who lives in Killamarsh.

“The last pantomime we did was Goldilocks And The Three Bears and I didn’t play the dame for the first time in 60-odd years – apart from the National Service years. I found it was a big part and I was having trouble learning the lines.

“I’ve had a fantastic time and I will still be helping to produce the pantomimes and acting as a consultant to help out and, although I won’t be doing any more writing, they will be using my scripts. I’ll still be around, I couldn’t walk away altogether, I don’t think they would let me.”

When Babes In The Wood take to the stage in January, the new dame will be 34-year-old Nick Challenger, who has been in panto a mere 20 years.