Ian swaps caring for scaring to take on ogre role in leeds panto

Georgina Noble, Ian Noble and Beth Forster will perform in St Andrew's Pantomime Group's 45th annual show. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Georgina Noble, Ian Noble and Beth Forster will perform in St Andrew's Pantomime Group's 45th annual show. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

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A hospital nurse with a passion for a different kind of theatre has penned an original script for a community pantomime group’s 45th annual showcase.

Ian Noble, 46, from Beeston, will swap his nursing scrubs for an ogre costume when he takes to the stage at St Andrew’s Community Centre, in Old Lane, Beeston, for a landmark set of shows performing a version of Puss in Boots that he penned himself. The show runs from January 10 to 24.

The St Andrew’s Pantomime Group has been a staple of south Leeds since it was set up to raise money for St Andrew’s Methodist Church by residents in 1970. Still very much run by the community for the community, the group has raised around £30,000 for local charities over the past decade with its shows, which entertain around 2,000 people every year.

Ian, whose wife and two daughters also help put on the shows, said: “We’re very conscious of the history of the group, and that’s partly why we spend so much time on it and enjoy it so much. This is the 45th year we’ve done it, it’s an institution.”

Each year, around 60 of the group’s amateur performers take the time to learn lines, rehearse, make costumes and perform to both entertain the south Leeds public and raise vital funds for the church itself and other good causes.

Group chairman Simon Forster, an IT firm director who grew up in Beeston, will play the character of the king this year, having first been introduced to the group around 30 years ago by his father-in-law.

The 52-year-old said: “It’s a funny show – there are lots of bits in it for the kids. Our usual dame is back on stage and his interaction with the audience is terrific.”

Visit www.standrewspanto.uk or call 07443 571868 for tickets, which cost £5 for adults and £3 for children.

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