Stockton Foresters receive the Barrass bounce of approval for murder mystery at Stockton on the Forest Village Hall

York pantomime comic stooge Martin Barrass, back row, second from right, meets the Stockton Foresters cast for Being Of Sound Mind at Stockton on the Forest Village Hall

STOCKTON Foresters Drama Group will perform Andrew Hull’s little-known gem, Being Of Sound Mind, from November 30 to December 2, much to the approval of York pantomime legend Martin Barrass.

Dame Berwick Kaler’s stalwart sidekick visited last week’s rehearsal of Hull’s murder mystery with all the twists of a corkscrew.

“The Foresters provide the highest standard of any amateur drama society I’ve ever known,” enthused Martin, ahead of the run at Stockton on the Forest Village Hall, near York. “Forget the telly. This is real live entertainment that will have you captivated from start to finish!”

Foresters’ chair Karen Ilsley responded: “Martin has been so supportive of our thriving company, encouraging our talented actors and crew, and letting us in on a few trade secrets! We are honoured to welcome him into our fold and look forward to a long and fruitful association.”

Jasmine Lingard, left, Stuart Leeming and Lynne Edwards in rehearsal for Stockton Foresters’ Being Of Sound Mind

Foresters’ newcomer Jasmine Lingard will play Penelope Asquith, who is eager to discover the truth as to why her late aunt haunts the Goodchild residence. Will the household survive the night to inherit Edward Goodchild’s fortune? Or are the inhabitants destined to succumb to supernatural forces?

Jasmine will have a further role as Eleanor, joined in director Louisa Littler’s cast by Stuart Leeming as Martin Bodmin; Martin Thorpe, as Marshall; Pete Keen, Stephen Asquith; Lynne Edwards, Rebecca Lockhart; Nicky Wild, Jane Brunt, and Russell Dowson, Shaun.

“I have hugely enjoyed working with the Foresters on this production,” said Louisa. “The cast are really responding to the challenge of creating a suspense-filled piece that will have our audience intrigued to the end.”

Stockton Foresters present Being Sound Of Mind from November 30 to December 2 at 7.30pm nightly. Doors open at 6.30pm. Stockton on the Forest Village Hall is on the Coastliner bus route and there will be plenty of accessible parking and a bar. Tickets are on sale at or Stockton on the Forest Village Shop.

Did you know?

STOCKTON Foresters are teaming up with The Fox Inn for this production. £9 tickets include a voucher for ten per cent off a meal at the village pub in January and February 2024. Vouchers will be available at the village hall.

What will panto favourite Martin Barrass and co be doing this winter at the Grand Opera House?

Martin Barrass, centre with fellow Grand Opera House pantomime stars David Leonard, left, AJ Powell, Suzy Cooper and Dame Berwick Kaler

MARTIN Barrass will star alongside Dame Berwick Kaler, David Leonard, Suzy Cooper and A J Powell in the swashbuckling pantomime adventure Robinson Crusoe & The Pirates Of The River Ouse at the Grand Opera House, York, from December 9 to January 6 2024.

Today, by the way, is Berwick Kaler’s 77th birthday. This winter, Britain’s longest-serving dame will be starring in his 43rd pantomime and second for producers UK Productions.

Meanwhile, the dowager dame’s costume and boots are on display at the V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, London, taking pride of place in the Theatre and Performance galleries until at least February 2024.

Writer-director Dame Berwick will lead his groundbreaking take on Daniel Defoe’s 1719 story of the sailor from York who finds himself marooned on a desert island, but on this occasion, Crusoe will not be sailing solo. Expect the unexpected as the familiar gang assembles again from December 9. Box office:

Berwick Kaler’s costume, rudimentary wig, trademark yellow and red socks and boots on show at the V&A Museum, London