Standing ovation for Burnley based group's debut pantomime

TEAM RISE cast members take a bow after making their pantomime debut
TEAM RISE cast members take a bow after making their pantomime debut
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A debut pantomime production, for a group of people who have special needs, was rewarded with a standing ovation

Members of TEAM RISE took to the stage for the first time to perform "Does A Real Panto" and it was such a hit they are already working on a new script for next year.

The cast of TEAM RISE on stage.

The cast of TEAM RISE on stage.

Volunteers Susan Jackson and Sandra Rowley devised the story and script for the panto which involved all members who attend the Monday sessions of the group which is based in Burnley but covers Pendle and the Ribble Valley.

Supporting adults with a learning disability, the vulnerable and those those are lonely or socially isolated, TEAM RISE aims to give individuals the opportunity to develop, socialise and explore their ideas and goals through a wide variety of educational, social and practical activities.

Manager Sharon Lees, who also starred in the panto as the central character who has to be saved from a wine cellar by a group of panto "has beens" said: "We spent months working on the panto, rehearsing and learning lines but the cast really pulled it off.

"There was 120 people in the audience who were all on their feet at the end singing and cheering."

Greenbrook Methodist Church allowed the players to use their theatre free of charge and in return TEAM RISE gave a donation.

Next year's show will run for two nights.

As the group, which is run by a team of experienced individuals and dedicated volunteers, does not receive any government cash it has to work for its own funding.

To help the organisation is staging sponsored zip wire and sky dive events. Anyone who would like to take part is asked to contact Sharon at or phone 01282 427874.