AFTER 17 years of self-styled entertainment, Prudhoe’s Dragon Tale Theatre Group certainly knows how to put on a good pantomime.

Led by an experienced core of cast and crew members, the group constantly integrates young blood into its line-up with successful results.

Last week’s production of Dick Whittington captivated packed audiences at the town’s Highfield Middle School over four consecutive nights.

It brought a fitting climax to four months of planning and rehearsals for a talented line- up of adults and children, who crammed a bit of everything into the performance.

Vicki Wilkin carried out the challenging role of lead character Whittington with aplomb.

Juggling his complicated family life and fledgling romance, she confidently delivered lines and demonstrated an impressive singing voice, alongside Whittington’s love interest Alice (Katie Thompson), who also sang admirably.

This year’s panto dame was Neil Wilkin, who was every bit the queen of comedy in his hilarious portrayal of Whittington’s mother.

Then there was the eloquent villain, Anthony Johnson, whose role of King Rat was akin to a sinister version of Ratty in the Kenneth Graham classic Wind in the Willows.

His evil plots were supported by hapless henchmen Nip and Tuck (Molly Holmes and Ashley Joscelyne), who entertained with a series of well-timed pranks.

Alderman Fitzwarren was brought to life by Ray Moore, a past master of portraying the aristocracy on stage.

Always by Whittington’s side was his loyal cat Tiddles (Veola Maughan).

Other stars include Bowbells and Bellbows (Samantha Macbeth and Fiona Henderson), Barrow Boy Billy (Alex Neal) and Captain LJTF (Stuart Mould) and his extensive team of pirates.

There are far too many names to mention, but there were notable performances from Peter McKay, Lorraine Lathan, Aaron Graves, Rebecca Gilhome, Tanya Tulip-Maughan, Alexandra Law and Lucy Fairlamb.

The performance was enhanced by a superb band of musicians and an extensive backstage team.

Joseph Tulip