Loddon Players star celebrates 40 years of panto

Maureen Larkin in this year's Panto "Pinocchio" in the role of Rosa,friend and sidekick of the dame.

Maureen Larkin in this year's Panto "Pinocchio" in the role of Rosa,friend and sidekick of the dame. - Credit: Archant

During the past 40 years of pantomimes in Loddon many talented people have come and gone, but one person has remained constant.

And at Loddon Players Pantomime Songs of Praise, Maureen Larkin was presented with an award in recognition of her 40 years of continuous service.

She has always played sidekick to the dame, a role she tackles with enthusiasm boundless energy.

In the earlier pantomimes her husband, two sons and daughter were all involved too.

Her eldest son, Ian, had gone on to carve out a very successful career in entertainment, as have so many youngsters who started their love of theatre with Loddon Players.

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Mrs Larkin said: 'It has been a joy to have the ability to make people laugh.

'I have made many lovely friends among the audiences and members of the Players over the years. They have become like a second family to me, and having spent more than half my life performing I cannot imagine life without it.

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'However, my age and arthritic aches and pains make me realise that I have to call it a day at some point.

'We have a wonderful group of hardworking people, who tackle numerous jobs to ensure that the pantomime happens every year, but we need to recruit more in order that it can survive.'

Loddon Players are holding an Open Day on Saturday April 1 from 2.30pm to 5pm at the Lecture Hall, George Lane, Loddon.

There will be activities for children, memorabilia, tea and cake, and much more. Members will be there to explain how it all comes together - front of house, ticket sales, programme and poster design, publicity, set design and construction and more.

The group need to recruit more members from the age of 16 upwards. It is a fun way to learn about all aspects of drama production and will ensure that this popular event can continue for many years.

Since it began in 1976, the annual pantomime has been the springboard for many young members with theatre aspirations, and has been able to donate more than £75,000 to deserving local causes.

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