In a change to what they describe as “the normal pantomime tradition of taking a fairy story, adding a few gags and filling the boring gaps with unrelated songs and dances”, Thurgoland Thespians claimed to have picked a story based on fact.
Nick Hibberd, director and producer, provides an insight into the historical events of nearly 750 years ago, revealing an all-too-familiar tale or treachery and deceit in the corridors of power.
He says the Pied Piper was really in league with the evil Rat Queen to get hold of all of Hamelin’s gold.
The rats then took over the council chambers and evicted the Mayor and all his croneys.
“In the village square the townsfolk don’t know what to do which is when the mysterious Pied Piper appears and convinces the Mayor that he rid the town of rats – for a price. They have no choice but to agree and the Piper plays a magical tune on his pipe that leads all the rats away.
“There is much celebrating but this is short-lived as the Piper returns for his payment and the Mayor refuses to pay the full agreed price.
“The Piper is furious and raises his pipe to his lips and plays a new tune that hypnotises all the children in the village and leads them away.
“Act two opens in the sewers where all the children are held prisoner by the Rat Queen. Her rats, Nibbles and Squeak, accompany the Piper back to town to tell the Mayor that if they ever want to see the children again, they have to pay all the town’s gold in ransom.”
To find out who wins the day, get along to the village hall every night this week from tomorrow until Saturday, when there is also a matinee. To book tickets, call Joan Methley on 0114 2888485.