A former De Aston student may have thought his pantomime career was behind him – but oh no it isn’t!
After a break of six years, Toby Bradford, from Market Rasen, has produced his 11th panto script, Rapunzel, with his writing partner Tina Webster.
The creative pair had written their tenth panto, The Pantomime Adventures Of Sinbad, back in 2009, which was first performed in Derby, with Tina directing and Toby on stage.
“After 10, we decided to take a break,” said Toby. “I wanted to try my hand at other things.”
To date, Toby has written a couple of plays and is still working on a musical and a novel. He has also done a bit of writing for television.
“When Tina suggested doing a new panto earlier this year, I wasn’t entirely convinced – I thought I’d moved on,” added Toby.
“But, as soon as I sat down to think about it, the ideas started sparking and we were away.
“The great thing about pantomime is you can set your imagination free.
“There are no rules. OK, there are some rules – like the baddie never wins – but, outside of that, anything can happen.”
For this latest script, Toby and Tina decided to look for another classic, well-known tale but something which was not usual pantomime fare.
“I looked back at the Brothers Grimm version of the story and quickly realised there’s a lot of it that’s perhaps not suitable for panto, such as the prince being blinded violently and Rapunzel spending quite some time as a homeless, teenage, single mother of twins,” said Toby.
“So we’ve taken the basic story of a girl with amazing hair, who is locked in a tower without stairs or a door, and weaved a magical tale around that,” added Tina.
Rapunzel was published in December by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (Noda).
The organisation has also published the 10 other Bradford and Webster pantomimes and they are performed by amateur theatre companies across the UK – and further afield.
To find out more about the pair’s shows, go to www.facebook.com/bradfordandwebsterpantomimes.