Great Bowden village pantomime celebrate after winning the coveted Blue Balloon Pantomime of the Year 2020 trophy

“We are blessed with a plethora of talent, fantastic passionate people who have tread the boards over the years and we are so proud of them"

By Red Williams
Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 10:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 10:33 am
Great Bowden Panto 'Return to Treasure Island'.
Great Bowden Panto 'Return to Treasure Island'.

Brilliant amateur dramatic enthusiasts from Market Harborough are well and truly dominating centre stage – after carrying off a top Midlands panto award.

Some 50 or so revved-up cast and crew behind the much-loved Great Bowden village pantomime are celebrating after winning the coveted Blue Balloon Pantomime of the Year 2020 trophy.

Lisa Hilton, the director, producer and co-writer, said: “We are absolutely ecstatic to have won the Salute to Pantomime competition with our production of Return to Treasure Island.

Front, Lisa and Mark Hilton celebrate with The Blue Balloon Pantomime of the Year 2020 trophy for Great Bowden Village Pantomime, Return to Treasure Island with cast and crew members socially distanced on The Green in Great Bowden. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“We were up against 14 or 15 other excellent pantos from across Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire so the competition was fierce.

“We performed the panto during half-term last February at Great Bowden Academy – so we managed to beat the first Covid-19 lockdown by just weeks!”

The former professional panto player added: “We are very lucky here in Great Bowden.

“We are blessed with a plethora of talent, fantastic passionate people who have tread the boards over the years and we are so proud of them.

“We are also so grateful to local builders, scaffolders and other local workers who really get behind us during this massive effort – it’s very humbling.”

Lisa said that incredibly they walked away with the following awards at the special Zoom ceremony:

1 The Blue Balloon Pantomime of the Year 2020 – Great Bowden Village Pantomime, Return to Treasure Island

2 Best script – Mark & Lisa Hilton

3 Best female lead – Lisa Hilton, Mrs Upper-Self

4 Best young female performer – Emily Staff, Jenny Trelawney

5 Best patriarch – Mark Hilton, Squire Trelawney

6 Best animal – Sarah Farrell, Polly the Parrot

7 Best cameo role – Paul & Karen Harrison, Prof Cleverdick & Dr Smartypants

8 Special recognition – outstanding props – Ralph Holderness & Ian Barnett.

“The Pantomime Alliance of Leicestershire (PAL) was formed to celebrate and promote pantomime amongst amateur groups in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland,” said Lisa.

“We all love getting involved, we are one huge amazing family and we’re already looking forward to setting up and staging our next big panto next Christmas.”