Wolverhampton schoolchildren treated to panto workshop

School pupils in Wolverhampton were treated to a special surprise when two panto stars gave them a pantomime workshop - oh yes they did!

Children from Newbridge Prep School with pantomime actors Dennis Ffrench and Rebecca Shepherd
Children from Newbridge Prep School with pantomime actors Dennis Ffrench and Rebecca Shepherd

Children at Newbridge Preparatory School got a masterclass from D&B Productions's Dennis Ffrench - the UK's longest playing black pantomime dame - and lead actress Rebecca Shepherd.

Otherwise known as 'Ding Dong Mary Lee' and 'Trixie Tinsel', the two performers taught the children about the vital characters and key professionals they would come across in a pantomime production.

The history of pantomimes was discussed and the stars explained why males have for years taken on roles of females playing the part of ‘the dame’.

The children also learnt why good and evil are portrayed within the story with good always prevailing in the end.

Children were directed and able to confidently create various panto characters and develop their own personal dialogue and walk for their fictional pantomime character.

They soon caught on when their own school teacher hid behind the real dame of the workshop and pretended to be a ghost in the story.

Mrs Sharman, Newbridge's wraparound care manager, said: “This is why we love this job. The panto workshop was a clear hit amongst the children and staff.

"It was an honour to host this special and unique event featuring the UK’s longest playing black pantomime dame.

"Newbridge Preparatory School would like to thank both Dennis and Becca for their time, dedication and kindness in supporting the children and making this a very special event for us all.”

D&B’s 'Oh Yes It Is!' Pantomime Workshops are taking place at various venues around Wolverhampton and the Midlands until the end of January 2022.

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