Driving tractor by day and penning panto by night

Bicester Advertiser: INSPIRATION: Martin Evans with Pied Piper, Sarah Turner, and Snow White, Sandy Beavis Buy this photo INSPIRATION: Martin Evans with Pied Piper, Sarah Turner, and Snow White, Sandy Beavis

BY day Martin Evans drives his tractor and tends his farm but he has always got a notebook and pencil to hand.

That’s so he can jot down a joke or a line ready to include in his pantomime script.

Over the past 22 years Mr Evans, of Hare Leys Farm, Launton, has penned 20 pantomime scripts for the annual pantomime staged by the Launton Players.

In February the group will perform The Little Mermaid at Cooper School’s performance hall.

Mr Evans said: “It all started when we were talking with a group of friends and we had been to see a professional pantomime and we all thought we could do one.

“It started off quite small and spontaneous and has grown over the years.”

His first was Robinson Crusoe in 1992, and others have included Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Aladdin.

Mr Evans, who directs the show alongside his producer wife Celia, said it can take up to eight months to write a script.

He said: “It is quite amazing to see everyone’s hard work come together at the end.

“There are now so many people who put hours and hours of effort into making the show happen.

“We are fortunate in having wonderful local support.

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“Last year was a sell out and raised £5,000 for local and national charities.”

Launton Players has won the Oxfordshire Drama Network Magic Moment awards twice, the first for a rapping oyster in Sinbad, and in Rumpelstiltskin, when the spinning wheel turned straw to gold.

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