South Leeds community club plans to revive pantomime traditions after 30 years

A dance performance on the Hunslet Club's stage.
A dance performance on the Hunslet Club's stage.
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The historic Hunslet Club has announced plans to revive its pantomime traditions – 30 years after dames, fairies and villains last graced its stage.

The Hillidge Road-based club aims to bring club members, volunteers and the wider community together through a new production of Peter Pan from December 2 to 4.

The Hunslet Club mascot. Picture by Tony Johnson.

The Hunslet Club mascot. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Pantomimes were once a staple part of the Hunslet Club’s calendar but were last staged there in the 1980s.

Leeds City College performance student Liam Robbins, who has been a member at the club since the age of three, will direct the production.

Liam, 21, from Beeston, said: “I want to bring people together from the community and show what activities we do at the club and what happens when you combine them all together. It’s also giving me skills, as I’m looking to do a masters degree in directing.

“It’s a massive opportunity for the club and myself.”

His ambitious show features around 20 main parts and could need as many as 50 volunteer support staff.

Auditions for the main parts will be held on July 18, 20 and 23, while the club appeals for stage hands, costume makers, props, wardrobe, make-up and front of house support to get involved from the wider south Leeds area.

Andrea Edwards, operations director at the club, said: “This is an opportunity for members, staff, our volunteers and anybody from the wider community to audition. It’s something that’s going to bring everybody together.”

Founded by GP Dr John Wyllie as Hunslet Boys Club in 1940, the Hunslet Club initially provided activities for teenagers running messages between air raid shelters and first aid centres during the Second World War. The club has remained a pillar of the community since then, opening to both boys and girls in the 1980s. It now has more than 2,300 members.

To get involved email aedwards@hunsletclub.org.uk.

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