DICK Whittington has made a triumphant return to Oakworth.

Twenty years after last featuring as the village's Methodist pantomime, the production was reprised – with a new script and a 29-strong cast of young people.

And the event has been hailed as a success.

David Howarth, for the panto team, says: "Audience numbers have still not returned to pre-pandemic levels, but bookings were up on last year.

"We entertained around 925 people over the eight shows, and the feedback was as good as ever.

"All 29 members of the cast came alive when they went on stage in front of their audiences, and we are proud of every one of them.

"As always, the wonderful costumes, scenery, lighting and special effects helped the young people bring their characters to life, making them believable – and their confidence grew as the week progressed.

"We now look forward to starting work on next year’s pantomime – Cinderella, in February, 2024!

"We're hoping that by choosing the most popular pantomime of them all, it will help our audience numbers return to previous levels next year."

The Dick Whittington cast included Gabrielle Sharp and Eva Kitching as Fairy Bow-Bells and King Rat, representing the good and evil sides of the panto, Phoebe Fox-Grange as Lady Fiona Fitzwarren, and principal boy and girl Lily Wood and Scarlett Morris, as Dick Whittington and Alice Fitzwarren.

Reviewer Phil Smith was full of praise: "Again David Howarth, Judith Chapman, Janet Armstrong and the team of dedicated scenery constructors, painters and lighting, sound, special effects, front of house, backstage and dressing room people brought together another fabulous show. Well done to everyone.

"All the cast had a chance to shine, with lines, songs and dances, and did so with exuberance.

"I especially liked the dancing rats and the policeman scene, and they all had to double up ­– and more – on parts playing Londoners, undersea life, slaves, rats, police, extra sailors and Moroccan sultans and warriors.

"Alongside these were the four main sailors, Captain Cockle, Muriel Mussel, Bill Barnacle and Winnie Winkle, whose jokes and banter added to the comedy.

"Fairy Bow-Bells and King Rat featured Gabrielle with her clear and beautiful diction and Eva relishing in the boos she kept getting from the audience.

"The principal boy and girl worked well together.

"And finally the parts that make a panto for me, the dame and sidekick. Excellent!"