A working men’s club is to perform its first pantomime for 45 years, with free tickets given to members of the community on lower incomes.  

The Mildmay Club's panto, Cinder-Laddin, will take place from December 14-18 and has already sold out.

Two of the six performances will be attended by local community groups including Mildmay Community Centre, Hackney Food Bank and the Factory Community Project, which were given free tickets.

The Newington Green club's president, Tom Jones, told the Gazette the is trying to revive a tradition of “doing what we can to support the community”. 

He said: “Wherever we can we're trying to engage with local people in the community in a way that hasn't happened at the Mildmay for many years. But certainly there's a fantastic tradition of doing that going back generations.”

Hackney Gazette: Mother GooseMother Goose (Image: Diane Bielik)

Formed in 1888, the Mildmay Club is a members-owned social club and is one of the few remaining working men’s clubs in London. 

Sam Menezes, producer of the pantomime, said: “It feels great to be putting something back on the stage at the Mildmay and using it in the way that it would have been used back in the day. It feels really like we’ve come full circle.”

Cinder-Laddin, which combines the traditional pantomime stories of Cinderella and Aladdin, was written by Pete Brown, who lives in Stoke Newington and is a club member.

Sam described the script as a “mash up of two of your favourite pantomimes”, with lots of jokes intended for a local audience. 

“It’s two for the price of one, because we're like that in the Working Men's club," he said. "We like to give you value for money.”

Hackney Gazette: AbanazerAbanazer (Image: Diane Bielik)

Sam said the preparations, which began in June, have been “joyous”, and said she is likely to be “roped into doing something” next year. 

“This was a bigger undertaking than we ever imagined," she said. "But the idea has been so well received that it might just have to become an annual event. Watch this space.”

Proceeds from ticket sales will be placed in a pantomime fund for next year’s performance.

The Mildmay club working men’s club is housed in a grade II listed red brick building in Newington Green and has around 1,200 active members, a number which has doubled in the last two years.