PUPILS at a North-East school have been booing and hissing their teachers without repercussion as staff members took to the stage to put on an end-of-term Christmas panto.

Staff at Longfield Academy, in Darlington, have been rehearsing since September to stage their one-of-kind production of Cinderella, complete with Cinders, Buttons, the Fairy Godmother, two extraordinarily Ugly Sisters, and the full cast of the traditional children’s favourite.

The Northern Echo: Vanessa Small as Cinderella and Andrea Charlton as ButtonsVanessa Small as Cinderella and Andrea Charlton as Buttons

Assistant head teacher Hayley Moohan, who helped organise the show, said: “We wanted to make sure that everyone at our school got the chance to see a proper traditional Christmas pantomime.

“Not every pupil can make it to their local theatre, so we decided to bring the show to them as a special end-of-term treat.

“The staff have had so much fun putting it together, and we’re overjoyed that it’s gone down so well with the pupils.”

The Northern Echo: Tony Pattison and Joe Owen as the Ugly SistersTony Pattison and Joe Owen as the Ugly Sisters

Sixteen teachers, teaching assistants, and school staff worked for nearly four months to bring the classic fairytale to life, much to the delight of their pupils and colleagues alike.

The production starred Vanessa Small in the title role, the fairy-godmother was played by Christine Humphrey, and Joe Owen and Tony Pattison brought the house down in wigs and stilettos as Cinderella’s wicked Ugly Step-Sisters.

The Northern Echo: Christine Humphrey as the Fairy GodmotherChristine Humphrey as the Fairy Godmother

Miss Moohan said: “Everyone worked very hard and they were all brilliant, but we have to give a special mention to Trevor Tearney, who stepped magnificently into the role of Prince Charming.

“Due to a staff absence, he only found out he was taking part shortly before the show and had to learn all his lines in two days! But nevertheless, he did fabulously – a credit to the cast!”