There is nothing like a dame –unless there are three of them.
Professionals Mark Two and Lea Holmes, who are playing the Ugly Sisters Ravishing Rita and Wicked Wanda in Cinderella at Scarborough Spa, offered to do a make-over.
Step forward dad, locksmith and EON payment advisor Paul Buttner. With a frightul frock and wicked wig, a paint-brush of mascara, a trowel of foundation, a layer of lipstick, he was transformed into Beautiful Betty – and two became three.
With a roll of those wide eyes and a flutter of eyelashes, Paul tottered on his dignity and said: “No, before today I haven’t dressed as a woman. But it has been fun.”
He is chairman of Scarborough Musicals and played Fatty Arbuckle in Mack and Mabel, Miles Glorious in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Mr Bumble in Oliver!, all at the YMCA.
His wife Sheryl, who works at Woodend Creative Workspace, The Crescent, Scarborough, has a background in dance and performance and is also involved in amateur dramatics.
So are their daughters Katie, 17, and 13-year-old Sophie. They live in the South Cliff area.
Mark and Lea were impressed with their “triplet”. Mark Two has 35 years’ experience in professional pantomimes and is also directing Cinderella. Lea Holmes’ first visit to the Spa was at the age of nine to see the summer shows.
Lea first met Mark while Mark was directing Cinderella and Lea was playing Buttons. Mark spotted his potential and suggested that they work together.
“Cinderella is the best panto because it has the ‘double dame’. We get to play comedy and the baddies all rolled into one,” said Mark.
Would they employ Paul? “He’s a natural,” said Mark. Said Lea: “He could be my understudy.”
“That’s 6ft under,” said Paul.Oh yes he is – a natural.
l Cinderella runs at various times at the Spa in Scarborough until January 1