It’s a perennial problem facing amateur dramatic and operatic companies – the loss of young stars to universities around the country.
For Holmfirth’s Turn Again Theatre, this year’s panto, Robin Hood and Maid Marion, will be the end of an era, as the group says farewell to two of its leading actors who are about to enter further education.
Tom Cousins and Tamsin Kendall, who have been with Turn Again for a decade, will take the title roles in what will be their last pantomime with the company.
Now in their final year of school, the actors are hoping to get places at university – Tom to take a degree in electronic engineering and Tamsin to study speech therapy.
However, they can be seen treading the boards one last time at Holmfirth Civic Hall, from Wednesday, January 28, until Saturday, January 31. For the acting couple it will be a happy ending, as their characters tie the knot after battling against the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham (Richard Skelton, another Turn Again seasoned performer) and his minions.
Tom and Tamsin have been members of Turn Again since they were eight years old and have appeared in all but one of the group’s annual pantomimes.
Robin Hood director Lisa Kendall says they will both be missed: “Tamsin and Tom are a delight to have in the society and it won’t be the same without them.”
However, the company does have members of the next generation waiting in the wings to take their places. While this month’s panto follows the traditional format, with a Dame (played by Matt Walshaw), it also incorporates a timeless fairytale classic, Babes in the Wood, into the show. And taking the leading roles as the ‘Babes’ will be up-and-coming theatricals – Luke Gosney and Esme Skelton. As Lisa says: “Turn Again is fortunate to have some fabulously talented children. Luke and Esme hold their own against our very talented cast.”
Robin Hood is Lisa’s fourth outing as pantomime director for Turn Again and she promises that the production will be big on action, dancing and dazzling costumes.
Tickets for Robin Hood are £5 and £7 from Holmfirth Tourist Information Centre, 01484 222444.