A PANTO dame has been teaching a group of children the tricks of the trade during a visit to a primary school.

Performer Philip Meeks, who will play the part of the dame in Darlington Civic Theatre’s Christmas pantomime Sleeping Beauty, visited Red Hall Primary School to host a workshop on the art of playing one of theatre’s most colourful characters.

Mr Meeks, who previously played Nurse Hattie in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at Middlesbrough Theatre, brought along some of his stage make-up and costumes and demonstrated the process he has to go through to become a panto dame.

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As part of the event the children were able to ask questions about the panto and its traditions, as well as learning about Mr Meeks’ own career as a writer and performer.