CHURCH minister Steve Levett is swapping his dog collar for a button-popping corset and bloomers when he takes on the role of Dame Nellie Nickerlastic in a new panto production.
Rev Levett, vicar at the Ecumenical Centre in Redditch, is appearing as the pantomime dame in Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood with the Jigsaw Players.
“My three children have performed in many shows with Jigsaw and until recently I have acted as the taxi driver and spectator,” said Rev Levett, a minister with the Emmanuel and St Andrews Churches in Redditch.
“Last year the director Maggie Bishton finally got me to take on a small part but this year took it further by convincing me to play the part of the Dame.
“They needed someone to ham it up and thought of me!
“Having agreed, efforts on my part to persuade her to allow me to keep my facial hair and be a bearded lady were vetoed so I have had to shave it for the first time in more than a decade.
“It feels quite strange, more so than wearing a dress which I have soon got used to.
“I’m sure the beard will return, but whether congregational members coming to the show will ever be able to take me seriously again in the future remains to be seen!’
Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood, which also stars Redditch’s Holly Lovell as Robin, will be staged at Trinity Centre, 411 Old Birmingham Road, Lickey, Bromsgrove, on Friday, November 30 (7pm), Saturday, December 1 (1.30pm and 7pm) and Sunday, December 2 (2pm).
A further four shows featuring a different dame and other cast members will be held on Thursday, December 6 (7pm), Friday, December 7 (7pm), Saturday December 8 (4pm) and Sunday, December 9 (2pm).
Tickets are £11 from the venue on Sundays from 4-8pm, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07772 647722.