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Castle welcomes travelling players

[Tuesday 11 July 2006]

SKIPTON Castle is to be the venue for an extra show performed by new Dales based theatre group Penny Plain following demand from local audiences who enjoyed performances in local villages during June and at Skipton's Sheep Day earlier this month.

penny plain
Penny Plain perform at Skipton Castle

The infamous rogue Tom Lee who lived in Grassington from 1756 - 1768, became notorious for murdering the village doctor, Richard Petty, who knew too much of Tom's nefarious activities.

History tells us the victim's body was first hidden, later buried and finally thrown into the River Wharfe before its eventual discovery. Tom was initially arrested as a suspect then released through lack of evidence, but was eventually convicted and hung on the testimony of his erstwhile servant, John.

The Penny Plain Theatre Company brings this grim local tale alive with a good dose of Tomfoolery in the guise of a troupe of disreputable Victorian ne'er-do-wells and their travelling stage, Hardcastle's Mighty Excelsior Theatre.

The ensuing mayhem of their performance provides knockabout street entertainment despite more sinister undertones and has been resoundingly well received by their audiences to date.

The venue is clearly perfect for the style of the production and it is particularly fitting given that Tom Lee would have undoubtedly spent time in the Castle dungeon

Sebastian Fattorini - Skipton Castle

Arts and Exhibitions Officer at Craven District Council, Catherine Johnson who had been instrumental in helping the company to obtain Lottery funding commented: "The jokes, doggerel verse, script, slapstick, great performances and all the wacky off-stage stuff combined to make it a real treat. I was so impressed and am so pleased to have been involved with such a great initiative."

The company had a gap in their performance schedule and Sebastian Fattorini of Skipton Castle was delighted to be offered the opportunity to schedule in an extra date in the castle grounds, saying: "The venue is clearly perfect for the style of the production and it is particularly fitting given that Tom Lee would have undoubtedly spent time in the Castle dungeon prior to being tried and sentenced to death in York."

The Skipton Castle performance takes place on Sunday (16th July) at 2pm.

More information regarding the work of the Penny Plain Theatre Company is available by calling 01756 752695, or send an email to thespians@pennyplaintheatre.co.uk

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