PICTURE GALLERY: Norfolk Dialect Panto in North Elmham

It wuz a right good ol' laugh at North Elmham Village Hall near Dereham today when the Friends of Norfolk Dialect staged their annual pantomime.

The group's performance of Cinderella proved so popular that extra chairs were brought in from the village church at the last minute as the hall was packed out with an enthusiastic crowd of people hailing from across the county.

The script was written for the first time by FOND committee member Colin Burleigh.

Previous scripts have been penned by the late Tony Clarke, a leading light in FOND and stalwart EDP reporter.

FOND chairman Norman Hart told the audience before the show: 'I am certain that Tony is still here with us in spirit and with the blessing of Tony's widow, Pat, and Colin's very kind offer to write the script, we have been able to bring you a new panto this year.'

The story tells how Cinderella, played by FOND committee member and published Norfolk dialect poet Tina Chamberlain, longs to go to the ball and impress the Stictly Come Dancing judges.

After being transformed into a beautiful princess by her fairy godmother she falls in love with the handsome prince, but leaves the ball before midnight so that the spell is not broken, leaving behind, not a silver slipper, but a glass wellie, which the prince uses to track her down and declare his love for her, before they agree to get married.

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The actors and actresses did not see the script before they walked on to the stage but regularly had the audience in fits of hysterical laughter.

Mr Hart, who played Buttons, said after the show: 'I'm so pleased with how everything has gone. The attendance was the biggest we've ever had and people came from all over Norfolk, which was very pleasing.

'I want to thank Colin for is excellent script. Everyone just threw themselves into it and the audience was fantastic.'

Before the start of the panto there were readings of the first, second and third placed entries to FOND's Trosher short story competition.

There was a record 30 entries, with stories all written in Norfolk dialect.

The winner was Lynn Fountain, from Ashwellthorpe, for her story Things That Go Bump in the Night, a ghostly tale set on an allotment.

Ian Vargeson's The Regular was second and I Was a Stranger, by Katherine Bygrave was third.

The stories will be published in the next edition of FOND'S magazine, The Merry Mawkin.

An extract from Lynn Fountain's winning entry, Things That go Bump in the Night…..

Well that nite th' wind wuz a whistlin' round th' eaves of th' shud and th' glass in the ol' winnda wuz a rattlin' fit to bust, and Jim, he was cungratualeartin' hisself that he had th' good sense t'know it wuz oonly Mother Neature doing har wark and nothin' more strearnge than that.

Until th' door handle started to tun.

Then Jim felt the swet run down his back and his toos kell up in his boots.

Cos his faast thought wus that it must be his missus come down thare arter him. And when the gal Marcie tarned ugly, she put the wind up him a darn site more than th' thought of any ghoost.

Well, th' door opened on up with an almighty screeching row.

'I'll hatta get them hinges oiled,' thought Jim.

Then in through th' door blew a tall and skinny shearpe of a man, all tricolated up in long greay cearpe, The newcummer, he bent down, lifted his cearpe, and pulled orf his bysickle clips.

'Thas better,' the streanger said, setting hisself down alongside Jim. 'Blast if that hint a rough nite out there, bor. Well, hent yer drop o' suffin warmin' to offer yer ol vicar?'

Him dint loike to sey he hant recognised the man. But then he hant bin to chach for a whoolly long toime. On account that the last toime he's gone, he hant had a very good experience. Coz that wuz th's day th' gal Marcie tarnned up an' all and said 'Tus, I dew.'

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