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Yorkshire Dialect: Legless Panto

Some sacrifices have to be made by panto stars, as Mike Shaw's dialect tale reveals.

Ah wer press-ganged bi Ethel ter gooa daan ter taan last week. Ther's nowt Ah lahke less ner wanderin' raand t' shops for a mornin', but Ethel wanted mi opinion on a few things shee wer aimin' ter bah.

Ethel led t' way as we med for t' Kingsgate centre, cos shee reckoned shoo's nivver 'ad tahme ter look raand properly sin' it oppened.

On us way we passed th' owd Methodist Mission i' Queen Street 'at's been med inta a theatre.

"Ah've been lookin' through th' Examiner ter see wat shows they're puttin' on, but Ah wer fair disappointed," Ah telled Ethel. "It's ommost awl 'ighbrow stuff, not lahke it used ter be at th' owd Theatre Royal.

"Mi mother an' father used ter tek mi on Satdy neets, especially wen it were a comedy. Ah used ter lahke t' pantomahme best, but even that's nooan lahke pantos used ter be."

Ethel nodded an' sed shee could remember gooin' ter t' pantomahme wi' a party fra t' Sunday Schooil. "Ther wer a lad fra Slawit called Stuart Whitwam 'at wer in t' panto ivvery yeear," shoo telled me.

"Ah can remember talkin' ter 'im one December wen Ah asked 'im wat part 'e wer playin' that yeear. 'E sed they started t' followin' Tuesday an' 'e'd getten a reight good part as Long John Silver.

"Ah telled 'im 'at Tuesday wer a queer day ter start. Monday'd be a lot better, Ah sed, but 'e replahd, "Ah can't mek it then. Ah'm 'avin' mi leg off that day."


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