Smarty Scores Again

John Somers wrote an original pantomime scenario which involved characters from many traditional pantomimes – Puss in Boots, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, for example. The main character was ‘Smarty’, a postman who, in attempts to deliver a parcel with an indecipherable address, became involved with those characters. Smarty was played by real-life local postman Marty Richards, a fanatical Burnley FC supporter. There was also a mafia-style gang which was trying to get the parcel as they thought it contained material crucial to their plans to build a skyscraper on the village green.

Throughout the pantomime (performed in a huge barn in the centre of Payhembury and directed by Carly Mays) Smarty hears on the radio that his beloved Burnley is being beaten in the Cup Final at Wembley by Man United. Near the end of the story and after many mishaps and disappointments, Smarty – who has tried valiantly to deliver the parcel to its rightful owner - discovers that his Burnley is 15 goals down and he despairs. At this point the Good Fairy intervenes and tells him that the parcel is for him. He opens it to find a pair of golden football boots. She instructs him to put these on and to travel to Wembley which he does on a real motorbike which drives into the barn (motorbike ride mimed in front of film of journey from Payhembury to Wembley). He arrives at Wembley with one minute to full time and proceeds to score sixteen cup-winning goals (captured on film in Keystone Cops style). He is carried from the barn on the shoulders of the crowd. Sixty-three actors and musicians were involved in the production plus many others providing related services.