Nobody likes to see a dame in distress – particularly when it’s a pantomime Dame. 

So, when the producers of Beauty and the Beast, this year’s Lighthouse pantomime, discovered that Dame Betty Bonbon’s tricycle had gone missing, the call went out to find some alternative transport. And quick! 

The panto SOS was answered by panto-loving PGA Professional and golf coach Steve Packer who works at Dorset Golf and Country Club, near Bere Regis, and he immediately dispatched a golf buggy to the rescue! 

“Once we heard we knew we couldn't let Dame Betty down,” says Steve, who coaches Lighthouse Event Manager Tom Holmes.  

“The golfing community is like that – if there’s a golfer in distress, we’ll send a buggy. We’ve had some strange requests over the years, but this is right up there. I think it’s the first time that a golf buggy has been asked to help a panto Dame save the day and we’re really glad to help. I can’t wait to see what the buggy looks like in its panto costume.” 

In the story, Dame Betty Bonbon sets out to save the beautiful Belle from the clutches of the Beast by teaming up with her father Marzipan and sister Souffle. But to get to the Beast’s castle lair she needs her trusty tricycle so when that went missing Dame Betty was cast adrift. 

“We were in a panto pickle until Steve scored an ace with his brilliant offer – I've never seen a Dame looked so relieved,” says Tim Colegate, Lead Producer and Head of Programming at Lighthouse. “This is the first time Lighthouse has made its own pantomime entirely in-house and thanks to Steve we’re set fair to score a hole in one.”  

Written and directed by Chris Jarvis – who also stars as Dame Betty Bonbon in his first ever stage role as panto dame – Beauty and the Beast runs at Lighthouse until 31 December. 

Photo - Corin Messer/BNPS


Published 17 December 2021