Panto is ‘open for business’ says director
In a novel bid to raise funds for St Stephen’s Church, the Revd Alan Franks has invited local businesses to sponsor Sleeping Beauty, this year’s Ambridge pantomime. ‘Eddie Grundy gave me the idea, as he insisted on mentioning Grange Farm turkeys in his comic monologue,’ the director says. ‘So I thought, why not get this on a proper commercial footing?’
The Revd Franks says that so far sponsors include The Stables (pantomime horse); Bridge Farm Tea Room (custard pie fight) and Spiritual Home (the spell-casting scene).
But not all cast members are in favour of the scheme, which has required some changes to the script. ‘No one can be expected to break off in the middle of kidnapping Princess Aurora and say “For all your crime and justice needs, just call Borsetshire C.I.D.” It ruins the mood,’ said a disgruntled Ruritanian courtier.
‘Alan Franks is behaving more like Alan Sugar and at this rate it will be the bishop who says “You’re Fired”.’
Royal couple slammed for wedding date clash
An Ambridge resident has accused Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of ‘gross insensitivity’ by timing their wedding to clash with an important local event.
‘I couldn’t believe it when I read they are getting married on May 19th,’ said Mrs Susan Carter of Ambridge View. ‘Everyone knows that May 22nd is my Neil’s birthday and our Emma and Ed’s wedding anniversary. I was planning a big party for the Saturday before, as Neil has a council meeting on the day itself. It was a chance for Ambridge to get together and try a full range of Bridge Farm kefir-inspired snacks and smoothies. And now it will be ruined because everyone will be staying in watching telly.’
Mrs Carter says she is going to write to Kensington Palace and ask them to change the wedding date. ‘After all, they can get married any old time,’ she said. ‘But you can’t mess around with the kefir fermenting cycle. No wonder they say the Royals are out of touch.’
Ambridge set for festive rock-fest
Christmas Karaoke Night at The Bull is shaping up to be one of the best ever, claims mine host Kenton Archer. ‘Lots of people were eager to put their names down, and having seen the line-up I’d say we’re going to be doing a brisk trade in our festive light-up antlers with built-in earplugs,’ he said. Already down to perform are:
• Papa Don’t Preach (I’m keeping my baby): Pip Archer with Toby Fairbrother on reluctantly-backing vocals
• What’s It All About? Alfie (who he? Ed)
• I put a spell on you: Lynda Snell, proving once and for all that Nightshade in Sleeping Beauty IS a witch and not just, as Alan so disappointingly put it, a fairy gone bad
• Oh baby, give me one more chance (and a honeymoon in India so I needn’t spend Christmas playing Hunt The Gin at Home Farm): Lilian Bellamy
• Relight My Fire: Alistair and Shula Hebden Lloyd (but perhaps not in the ice hotel, Shula, the insurance won’t cover it)
• Little Saint Nic: everyone, wearily, tired of telling her how well she did directing the Nativity play.
• Thank you for being a friend: The Ambridge Rat Pack (Eddie, Joe, Rex, Ed and Johnny – for one night only, before bickering breaks out again in the New Year)
• Mary’s Boy Child (or Anne’s, or Fiona’s, or Julie’s, and a girl is absolutely fine as well): Adam and Ian Craig-Macy.
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