Tipton Players & Pantomime Society presented the play National Treasure at the Community Hall in mid-February.

The play was written especially by Natalie Anning, co-directed with Claire Devine, to give the opportunity for all members to tread the boards, but particularly those older performers who may struggle to find the right role and may prefer not to have too many lines!

The action took place in a retirement home for members of the acting profession, with frequent flashbacks to their younger days, and the curtains opened onto a super set receiving a well-deserved round of applause.

The 'inmates' returning from a funeral were fixed on who should be 'elevated' to the now vacant prestigious room. Snobbery and rivalry were evident from the outset and the long-suffering staff did their utmost to keep the peace!

It was lovely to see familiar faces on stage again and all were superb in their roles.

Brian Rice was spot-on as Jimmy Presto 'boy magician' turned comedy double act, and the mischievous interaction between him and Vivienne Gascoigne-Pees as faded actress Beatie Graves was lovely.

Janet Farrow and Ann Knight were on top form as Marguerite and Helena, their rivalry deep rooted since childhood, and Michael Gascoigne-Pees was excellent as the Shakespearean Sir Timothy.

Pauline Belton gave a perfect performance as Arabella, slowly losing the plot, and John Belton made an endearing husband, still very much alive in her mind.

Mark Reader, Sue Hulley and Mo Mylne gave sterling support as the staff and other roles were ably played by the 'flashback' ensembles, with the Juniors in 'starring' roles.

A nice touch was the projection of young Arabella the Opera Singer beautifully sung by Kara Malten, and Yvonne Kellett made a credible Jeanie the 'National Treasure'.

A cleverly crafted and enjoyable production, and tremendous credit must go the cast and stage crew for the smoothly executed multitude of scene changes!