CHRISTMAS may be a distant memory by now, but that doesn’t mean the pantomime season is over.

This weekend sees the return of the Allendale Panto ­— an event that’s had something of a dogged history over the last few years.

The pantomime, organised by the Allen Valley Drama Group, had been a regular fixture since 1983.

But it went on a year’s hiatus in 2017 with several key players, including director Lee Falkingham, unavailable due to other commitments.

It returned last year, but had to be postponed by around three weeks when the Beast from the East struck at the beginning of March.

Organisers will be hoping for a smoother run this year, with performances of Sleeping Beauty taking place at Allendale Village Hall on February 7, 8, and 9 starting at 7.30pm, and a Saturday matinee performance from 2pm.

As always, the drama group will be putting a local twist on the classic tale, with the panto set to feature the Wicked Witch of the Dale and the Village Fairy – and even a surprise appearance from the Allendale Dalek.

This year's panto is also a directing debut for Laura Charlton.

The drama group’s Margaret Stonehouse said: “We like to be topical, and it’s not that difficult to incorporate a Dalek into a pantomime.

“I think Brexit is out of the window, because everyone’s sick of Brexit, and the Dalek’s in.

“It might be a bit difficult if it’s still snowing, I’m not sure how well Daleks do in the snow.

“It’s always got al Allendale stamp on it. We’ve got a lot of new members this year, and a youngish cast. It’s a lot of fun.”

Tickets are still available from the village’s gift shop and Co-op.