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Vicar is booed as he storms church with his 40 thieves

PUBLISHED: 21:31 10 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:02 05 October 2010

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BOOS, hisses and cheers greeted the vicar when he led a band of desperados into the church in London’s East End. The congregation saw right through The Rev Kevin Scully’s disguise as Zaltan, leader of a right bunch of desperadoes against Ali Baba and the good people of Akaba

ABOVE: A leading East End vicar as you’ve never seen him... The Rev Alan Green, vicar of St John-on-Bethnal Green and chairman of Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum, dressed as the Panto Dame...

BELOW: The cast of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves includes the children of the Saltan and Saltana...

Review by congregants Amanda Maud and Douglas Charnick, pictures by Lydia Dye Stonebridge

BOOS, hisses and cheers greeted the vicar when he led a band of desperados into the church in London’s East End.

The congregation saw right through The Rev Kevin Scully’s disguise as Zaltan, leader of a right bunch of desperadoes against Ali Baba and the good people of Akaba.

The vicar St Matthew’s, Bethnal Green, took the villain’s role in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves being performed at the nearby St John-on-Bethnal Green at the weekend.

But he was no match for Jocelyne Armitage playing the hero—who had the audience with her—only to fall into the arms of the Pantomime Dame played by another vicar, The Rev Alan Green (pictured), from St John’s itself.

’FULL HOUSE’ OF GOD

There were full houses at St John’s on both Friday and Saturday nights and a packed matinee on Sunday afternoon.

The panto written by Doug Charnick and directed by actress Amanda Maud, who also played a panto palace guard and played most of the music, had a cast of 40 thieves and a dozen children of the Sultan (played by David Armitage) and Sultana (Clorinda Goodman).

Most of the congregation either had a part or were involved backstage or front of house. There were almost as many on stage as watching!

Lucy Brennan-Shiel and Ophelia Diaz made the costumes, including a spectacular hat for the dame based on St John’s church.

The Forces of Good and Evil, Fragrant Franie (Franie Groombridge) and Barbarella (Barbara Perrott) provided a running commentary. Sebastian Sandys (Ali G’ Gator) and Tim Suiter (Mustapha P’) were the comic relief. Morgiana (Debbie Frame) got her man, Ali Baba, while the Princess fell for the merchant Khassim (Linda Johnson).

The Rev Brian Ralph from the rival’ parish up the road left saying, “This would never happen at St. Barnabas!”

The performance raised £670 towards the restoration of this important Soane church on Bethnal Green.

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