AN amateur theatre group marking its 50th anniversary will be recreating its first-ever production for this year’s pantomime.

Rehearsals are in full swing and the finishing touches are being made to the costumes and scenery as the Worthy Players prepare to perform Dick Whittington.

The updated script by TLC Creative by arrangement with Lazy Bee Scripts promises all the fun, laughter and gags you would expect from a pantomime with the goodies to cheer on and the baddies to boo and the ever-popular Panto Dame.

Hampshire Chronicle: Building the setBuilding the set (Image: The Worthy Players)

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The show includes lively songs and there’s even a chance for the audience to join in too.

The Worthys Players have put on a panto or Christmas show every year apart from during lockdown when an online panto was created.

The group’s 50th birthday celebrations this year have included a party for members, former members and supporters in July and a production of the 70s classic “Some Mother’s do ‘ave ‘em” in May.

This year’s panto, first performed by the Players in 1973, tells the story of the penniless but plucky Dick Whittington and his trusty feline sidekick Tiddles and their quest for fame and fortune in London where the streets are paved with gold. His escapades take him onto the High Seas and into battle with the villainous Queen Rat.

The group has spent months rehearsing and painting and preparing the scenery. The team has made an array of bright and colourful costumes especially for the Dame who has four costume changes throughout the performance.

Hampshire Chronicle: The countdown to panto season is onThe countdown to panto season is on (Image: The Worthy Players)

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Barbara Kearns, who plays Dick Whittington, said “I’m so excited about the panto.  I love the silliness and the buzz of the audience reaction.  A huge amount of work goes into the production. 

"It’s not just people on stage, there’s a big crew backstage, front of house, working on the scenery, the costumes and the props.  On performance days there are people working front of house, giving out programmes, selling raffle tickets, managing the door and running the bar.  Everybody in the group plays their part.  We’re really looking forward to a fun first night."

Director Cye Gates said: “If you’re looking for action, comedy, songs, dances, romance, and rats with hats. Then come and join us for what will be a show to remember.”

The pantomime commences on Friday, December 1 at 7.30pm at Jubilee Hall in Kings Worthy with further performances on December 2, 8 and 9 and a matinee on Saturday, December 2 at 2.30pm.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £8 for seniors, children and students. For more information or to book go to