AN amateur dramatics group has thanked housebuilder Persimmon Homes Essex for sponsoring their annual panto.

Silver End Amateur Drama Group has been staging a pantomime at the village hall for more than 50 years, giving aspiring thespians a taste of performing on stage.

After successfully applying for a Community Champions grant from Persimmon Homes Essex, the group received a £1,000 donation to help bring their Cinderella panto to life.

The production opens on January 18.

Director Martin Barlow said: “Our pantomime has become a village tradition now, so many people are involved. 

“We have around 40 people directly involved either as cast or backstage crew, and we have an audience of 200 at each of our four performances.

“We would like to thank Persimmon for this generous donation. This money helps cover some of the costs of lighting, scenery and costumes, and means we can keep ticket prices affordable for the families who like to come and see us year after year.”

Persimmon Essex managing director Richard Hush said: “The pantomime is something of an institution in Silver End and solidifies that sense of community and belonging.

“We are delighted to be able to support the cast and crew and ensure this legacy can continue to be enjoyed by village residents.”

Persimmon Homes is currently building 250 new homes at The Maples in Cressing.