Think the Panto season is over?  OH NO IT’S NOT!  The bleak midwinter becomes a little less bleak with Dymchurch Players’ presentation of Snow White, coming to Dymchurch Village Hall over two weekends this January.

We spoke to Claire Gosney – whose acting credits with the Players include the villainous German colonel in ‘Allo ‘Allo, and the Vicar of Dibley not once but FOUR times – while she and colleagues were busy working on the set on a pre-Christmas Sunday morning.


“The aim is to provide something special and to have some fun, especially in the gloom of January” Claire says.  “And the beauty of panto is that it really does have something for everyone – the kids love the slapstick element while most of the jokes go over their heads, the adults laugh at the risqué bits, and of course everyone joins in with the shouting, singing and dancing.”

Dymchurch Players started in 1984, adding a charitable aspect in honour of their late chairman Mark Head from 2012.  The group has since raised a staggering £54,000 for a range of charities, and this year will be supporting the Day of Syn, Holding on Letting Go (a Kent based charity supporting children through bereavement) and Folkestone & Hythe RSPCA.


“Mirror mirror on the wall – who is the fairest of them all?”  Unfortunately for the wicked Queen, we all know it’s not her but Snow White, keeping house for Happy, Doc, Grumpy, Dopey, Bashful, Sleepy and Sneezy.  Fortunately, virtue and true love win in the end!

“The story is almost as old as time” says Claire, “but of course it has a modern twist and topicality like all the best pantos!  We’ve got a hilarious script, some of the humour is pretty direct, but most of all it’s just great fun.”

The script was sourced from Ben Crocker Pantomimes, well-known in the panto world, whose work has been described the The Times newspaper no less as “perfect, proper panto”.  “OK, that’s a lot to live up to” Claire laughs, “but as always, we’ll give it our best shot!”


John Jackson has been with the group from the beginning – treasurer and technical supremo, he, Steve Walton and Denise Gilbert are in charge of the whizz bangs without which no proper panto is complete, and have been known to plunge the cast into darkness if they are being too annoying during rehearsals!

Claire, Andrew Foord and Jack Parry all bear the scars of set-building, and paint spatters from working on the scenery.

Rachael and Steve Pocock from the popular Dymchurch café The Bucket and Spade are on hand to sort out the refreshments, and the cast includes eight juniors from the age of seven upwards, and around 14 adult members.


“We’re a really friendly group” Claire says, “and we always welcome new members.  You don’t have to be Oscar-winning material, you just need to be willing to work hard, smile, and have fun along the way – that’s all there is to it.

“You don’t even have to be on stage if you don’t want to, behind the scenes work is just as valued, and so important.”


In keeping with the Players’ truly local feel, tickets are on sale at the Smugglers’ Chest shop, just along from the Ocean Inn.

The evening shows are seated round tables, with refreshments available – and BYOB (bring your own bottle) is not just allowed but practically a requirement!  “I have to say, the evening performances are a LOT of fun” Claire laughs!

Tickets cost £5.00 or £7.50 depending on performance and seating arrangements.

2023 shows are as follows:

Friday January 20        7.00pm*
Saturday January 21   7.00pm
Sunday January 22      2.30pm

Friday January 27        7.00pm*
Saturday January 28   2.30pm
Sunday January 29      7.00pm*

Performances marked with * are round table seating, and BYOB

For more information, visit www.dymchurchplayers.co.uk or follow them on Facebook @Dymchurch Players