IT was a show few will have heard of beforehand. But, for those who took part, it is one they will never forget.

The Right Angle Theatre Company packed out the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels for five nights last week with its production of Alan Frayn’s pantomime Twelve Days of Christmas.

It was the last show for director Susan Shearer, who has been at the helm since the company was founded a quarter of a century ago.

However, after three months of rehearsals, a cameo role and a sprinkling of fairy dust ensured she bowed out with a bang.

Speaking to the Border Telegraph following the final performance on Saturday, Susan, who played one half of double act Holly and Ivy alongside her successor Val Smillie, said: “It’s been fantastic.

“This is a totally new show and I think it’s been well appreciated. People come along to pantos like Cinderella and they already know the story, but nobody knew this story. It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s been worth it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching bits that I’ve not been on.

“The whole cast has played their part. The dancers have been fabulous - we’ve had Lauren Gracie come in and do the choreography for the whole show and she has done a fabulous job.” But she added: “This is my last show. Next year’s our 25th anniversary, I’m disappointed I’m not going to be here for that, but it’s a lot of work and I’m not getting any younger. I’m just going to sit back and watch them - and make costumes.” This year’s production, named after the carol Twelve Days of Christmas, was set in the The Village of Old Dimpley Bottom which was celebrating the announcement that the Queen, played by Julia Noble, was to throw a grand Festive Ball for all the villagers.

To mark the occasion, a large advent calendar was built on the Village Green, which has 12 doors, one to be opened each day until Christmas.

The festivities could not begin until all the doors were opened but Wizbad, the wicked wizard played by Julie Smith, had stolen the keys and scattered them all over the world.

Aided by the good Fairy, played by Amanda Blacklock, the cast embarked upon a race against time in their quest and transported the audience on a journey around the world - with the final key being retrieved on Christmas Eve, ensuring everyone had a ball.

There were stand out performances from musical director Derek Calder, who played the typical pantomime dame, Gertie Gusset; Jodie Millar, Gertie’s daft son, who kept us laughing - even when we weren’t supposed to; and leading lady Amy Thomson, Gertie’s daughter, who is surely destined for a bigger stage.

A special appearance from Braw Lass Alice Mackay in her Principal’s uniform - one of half a dozen costume changes for the local beauty therapist who joined her sister Nicola, herself a former Braw Lass, among the dancers - and a quip comparing the new wall straddling the rail line in Ladhope Vale to the Great Wall of China, provided plenty of cheer for the local audience.

While Gordon Keddie and Tracy Borthwick are deserving of a mention for their roles as unlikely double act Stampit and Klampit, there were also authoritative performances from Julia Noble as Queen Cupcake and Emma Wilson as Prince Rupert.

Young Aimee Richardson’s smile was infectious as she giggled her way through her lines as a little Lephrechaun, ably assisted by Stuart Mitchell and Josh Millar, putting the fun into the fun-filled performance, and Alasdair Clipston’s robotic dance movements brought his Mummy role to life.

However, according to director Susan Shearer, the Irish Dancers from Ward School of Dance stole the show.

Family favourite Let It Go, from the hit movie Frozen, provided the biggest sing-a-long on the night, which included a number of Christmas crackers; and the singing of Twelve Days of Christmas - which was anything but pants - had everyone on their feet.

Musical director Derek Calder said: “After a lot of hard work, I think it’s been a tremendous production. The audience response has been amazing and for a new pantomime that’s unusual.

“The old tried and tested pantomimes always get the audience behind us, but for a new one I think the company have worked so hard.

“The best bit was the audience reaction - they were absolutely amazing all week.” Cast - in order or appearance: Fairy Queen, Amanda Blacklock; Schnitzel, Julie Smith; Holly, Susan Shearer; Ivy, Val Smillie; Suzi, Amy Thomson; Villager, Myra Gentleman; Gertie Gusset, Derek Calder; Stampit, Gordon Keddie; Klampit, Tracy Borthwick; Izzy, Jodie Millar; Queen Cupcake, Julia Noble; Prince Rupert, Emma Wilson; Elves, Connor Mackay, Alannah Fox; Santa, Scott Robertson; Nightclub singer, Stuart Mitchell; Beefeater, Alasdair Clipston; Penguin, Rachel Falconer; Camel, Eilidh Walker, Jess Riley; Mummy, Alasdair Clipston; Leprechaun 1, Stuart Mitchell; Leprechuan 2, Aimee Richardson; Leprechuan 3, Josh Miller; Irish Dancers, Ward School of Dance.

Dancers: Rachel Brown, Amy Bryson, Sara Facchini, Alice Mackay, Nicola Mackay, Chloe Muir, Erin Turnbull.

Chorus: Rachel Falconer, Laura Jo Forsyth, Katie Horsburgh, David Leckey, Annabelle Lugton, Connor Mackay, Holly Nichol, Sarah Phillips, Gemma Proudfoot, Jess Riley, Leanne Robinson, Gemma Stoddart, Eleanor Scott, Hannah Scott.

Children: Charli Black, Ellie Bryson, Molly Darling, Abigail Edwards, Laura Frizzel, Caitlin Green, Nicole Hughes, Katie Loughran, Olivia Lugton, Shannon Mack, Josh Miller, Jessica Proudfoot, Aimee Richardson, Millie Robinson, Eilidh Scott, Nola Sewell, Carrie Smith, Jess Thomson.

Production team - stage crew: Ronnie Frizzel, Greg Robertson, Craig Monks, Stuart Wilson, Andrew Nichol, Malcolm Wilson, Keiran Monks.

Prompter, Sheila Wilson; Call Girl, Katie Chambers; Stage props, Gordon Keddie; Props manager, Ruth MacDonnell; Scenery, Border Studios.

Musicians - Keyboard, Chris Achenbach; Percussion, Graham Borthwick.