The Quarterly Village Publication produced by Barrow upon Soar Community Association


Sam Butler, a past junior member of Barrow Panto Group, returns to review the latest production

There were enough custard pies and cross-dressing to rival any decent pantomime when Barrow Panto Group performed their annual show in March. The popular tale of Aladdin was given the Barrow treatment to a packed opening night audience at Humphrey Perkins Community Centre, complete with vigorous villains, a Geordie Genie and plenty of improvised banter from Gordon Kenneth’s sparkling Widow Twankey.

It’s rare that such collective community effort is ever properly realised and the group’s commitment to sociability within Barrow should be strongly applauded. As new faces mingled with familiar ones, it was refreshing to see the group making good use of the young talent within the village, both onstage and off.

There might have been bad jokes aplenty, but it was Barrow Panto Group who had the last laugh. Thirteen years strong and there’s no sign of them slowing down yet.

Just for a bit of context...

I began performing with the group back in 1997, first appearing as a London urchin in the group’s Old Time Music Hall. I played Buttons in Cinderella (the first time round) and bowed out climbing Beanstalks in 2000.

After graduating from university in Edinburgh, I have been living and writing in Melbourne, Australia. Now I am back in the area working as a Learning Practitioner for Learndirect whilst writing education packs for a theatre company based in London.



Poetry Competition winners

We had quite a lot of entries. This would have tickled Arthur Gardner, in whose memory Barrow Voice ran the competiton.

Poetry judge, Jo Bell who was a very good friend of Arthur’s, felt that there was a clear winner in both the adult category, Doug Kennett and in the junior category, Liam Patrick who is a pupil at Humphrey Perkins High School. We congratulate both of them. Their poems are printed below. Thanks too to everyone else who sent in their poems.

And for good measure, here is a short poem by Arthur. It appears in that lovely publication ‘People and Places’ by Arthur with wonderful line illustrations by Chris Bates. You can get your copy from the Paper Shop for only £2.00.