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Dover protesters traumatise panto performers during demonstrations

Protesters and rioters traumatised performers of a panto production in Dover on Saturday - but despite shaken cast members the show went ahead.

The demonstrations in the town centre saw some protesters running into the Roundhouse Theatre at Dover Discovery Centre and scaring the young cast, who were performing Sleeping Beauty.

Director Barry Clayton said: “We opened last Thursday and our final performances were on Saturday, a day that brought more than the usual challenges a production of this kind brings.

Protesters outside the entrance to Dover Discovery Centre
Protesters outside the entrance to Dover Discovery Centre

“Rioters ran through the building and shouted through the dressing room windows at the young cast. But throughout the whole quite terrifying incident our cast, young and old, continued with the performance even though staff of the centre suggested we consider halting the afternoon performance and cancelling the evening one.

“They were traumatised by the whole sad event but felt that the audience deserved to see our work and so they did, bringing laughter to a town under siege.”

The show was performed by Blackfish Academy, a community production which aims to include children and adults from all walks of life.

Sleeping Beauty saw a return to the pantomime genre for Blackfish for the first time in many years.

The cast of Blackfish Academy's production of Sleeping Beauty
The cast of Blackfish Academy's production of Sleeping Beauty

Princess Beauty was played by Emma Walker and Prince Michael by Chris Walker. The production also includes kings and queens, fairies and a host of dancers.

The script was written by the late Peter Denyer.

The age of the cast ranges from seven to 67.

Blackfish Academy also runs workshops for children and young people every Saturday from 10am to 11am.

For more information on the workshops call Mike Scurfield on 07854987065.

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