Victorian music hall and pantomime fun in Barkway this weekend

Barkway Players Oh Sherlock, February 2015

Barkway Players Oh Sherlock, February 2015 - Credit: Archant

Panto productions are usually set in fairytale lands far away, but there are no beanstalks or glass slippers to be seen in Barkway this weekend.

Villagers have chosen the Victorian period as the setting for their seasonal show, with a nod to Sherlock Holmes and lots of music hall fun and games in store.

The curtain goes up at Barkway Village Hall on Friday night, but if you haven’t already bagged your tickets you’ll need to look sharp, because Saturday’s evening show is already a sellout.

Oh, Sherlock is billed by the Barkway Players as a ‘pantomimical entertainment for all ages’ featuring a detective and his sidekick, a naughty nipper, ladies of easy virtue and a group of incorrigible east End urchins.

Members of the company have been having great fun during rehearsals for this new show, which features many familiar faces and some great songs, with the junior cast playing a key part.

The detective at the centre of the action is Barratt Soames, who is accompanied by his trusty sidekick Dr Watsup as they tackle not one but three puzzling cases – there are cats disappearing from all over London, a naughty nipper is nabbing the ladies, and there are strange goings on at the music hall.

Evidently Pa Swine, landlord of the Frog and Giblets pub, is implicated and when Buckingham Palace becomes involved the stage is set for a right royal caper.

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Director Ann-Marie Kirkham said: “We wanted to do something different from the run-of-the-mill this year.

“The show combines old-time music hall entertainment with Victorian melodrama and mystery, all in a pantomime style.”

This will be the Players’ 23rd annual pantomime since the group was founded in 1992. People of all generations are involved, and proceeds help support the Village Hall.

The first performance is on Friday, at 8pm and as well as that sellout Saturday evening show there’s a 2pm matinee – call 01763 848347 to reserve tickets.

Adults pay £7 and children or concessions £4 for the remaining performances.

You can find out more about the players, and the production, online at