Green light for Blue Light Theatre Co’s panto capers in Oh! What A Circus

Zoe Paylor’s Pinata and Mark Friend’s Pinocchio, from Blue Light Theatre Company’s Oh! What A Circus cast, at Acomb Cobblers. All pictures: Scott Atkinson

ROLL up! Roll up! The Blue Light Theatre Company’s pantomime, Oh! What A Circus, will open at Acomb Working Men’s Club, York, next month.

Made up of paramedics, ambulance dispatchers, York Hospital staff and members of York’s theatre scene, the company will be in action on January 24, 25 and January 29 to 31 at 7.30pm nightly, plus a 1pm matinee on January 25.

Blue Light Theatre Company’s cast members for Oh! What A Circus at Acomb Working Men’s Club

“Our story revolves around two circuses, one good and one evil, and their search for a star act, but which circus will succeed?” says Mark Friend, who plays Pinocchio.  “This is a family-friendly show that would make a perfect Christmas gift for the whole family, especially as it features many famous fairy-tale characters such as Pinocchio, Geppetto, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, Tinkerbell and Hansel and Gretel.”

In the cast will be Steven Clark, as dame Dolly Mixsteur; Glen Gears, Darius De’vil; Jorvik Kalicinski, Geppetto; Mark Friend, Pinocchio; Perri-Ann Barley, Rapunzel; Devon Walls, Red Riding Hood; Brenda Riley, Magenta, the Sorceress; Craig Barley, Cyril and Old Man, and Kevin Bowes, Nodoff, the Clown.

Shoe-in for success: Blue Light Theatre Company’s Zoe Paylor (Pinata), Jorvik Kalicinski (Geppetto) and Mark Friend (Pinocchio) at Acomb Cobblers

So too will be Linden Horwood, as Tinkerbell; Pat Mortimer, Signora Fi Lacio; Zoe Paylor, Pinata and Suki; Kristian Barley, Hansel; Katelyn Botterill, Gretel, and Kalayna Barley, Bird and one of the four Piglets, Pandora. The other three will be Kathryn Donley as Pringles; Charlotte Botterill, Pippa, and Abigail Botterill, Primrose.

Director and producer Craig Barley leads the production team, joined by writer/co-producer Perri-Ann Barley; choreographer Devon Wells and the costumes team of Brenda Riley and Christine Friend. Steven Clark has written additional material.

Sizing up Pinocchio: Jorvik Kalicinski’s shoemaker Geppetto works on Mark Friend’s Pinocchio’s shoe as Zoe Paylor’s Pinata looks on at Acomb Cobblers

As in previous years, Blue Light will be raising money for York Against Cancer and Motor Neurone Disease (York). “We hope to exceed our record-breaking £3,000, which was split between the charities after our last production, Wonderland,” says Mark.

“We’ve had fantastic support from local and national businesses, and our raffle prizes include family passes to many of York and North Yorkshire’s famous attractions. We also offer a cheap bar, which now accepts credit and debit cards, and cheap pick’n’mix sweet bags for sale at the shows.”

Tickets cost £10, adults, £8, concessions, £5, children, at, on 07933 329654 or from cast members. “We’re hoping to sell some tickets for Christmas zero-waste presents over the next couple of days,” says Mark.

Did you know?

SHOULD you be wondering, the publicity photographs were taken by Scott Atkinson at Mansell Hughes’s shoe repairs shop, Acomb Cobblers, in Green Lane, Acomb. “Mansell is a huge support to us, giving us free rein of his shop for our photo-shoot,” says Mark Friend.