A PANTOMIME dame is set to hang up his dress after more than 25 years of laughter and you could be next to fill the role.

Will Taylor, who makes his living by day as a plumber, has been entertaining crowds with the Westhoughton theatre group Bethel Crowd for 26 years.

Working full-time and also performing part-time has taken its toll on Mr Taylor and January’s performance of Puss in Boots was his final one with the group.

During his long and illustrious career with the society, he has been sent to Mars, blown up a variety of ovens and scared off an infinite number of ghosts on the stage.

He lives locally in Westhoughton but can be seen around Bolton fixing and fitting bathrooms.

Mr Taylor said: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of being on the stage but I can’t handle it with my plumber’s knees any more.”

The group has praised Mr Taylor’s ‘amazing dedication’ and said that over the years he has brought laughter to audiences of all ages.

Paying tribute to him, the group said: “He brought so much personality to his performances that there wasn’t always space on the stage for the rest of the actors. After 26 years, Will finally got the hang of spotting when he was being stitched up. This skill would have saved him trying to reassemble collapsing chalkboards, begging audience members for a pound coin to allow him to release his trolley and being given a tin of baked beans in exchange for a cow.”

Members said that they have fond memories of working with Will and are sad to see him go.

Now though, it is somebody else’s turn to step in the the big shoes of dame with Bethel Crowd set to carry out auditions for the role.

A meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 28 at 7pm for anyone who fancies taking up the role at United Reformed Church, Park Road, Westhoughton, where the group is based.

The Bethel Crowd has been performing pantomimes in Westhoughton since 1974, with Mr Taylor playing a part for most of this time.

The next pantomime it will be putting on will be Aladdin, in January 2018 with rehearsals starting at the end of September this year.

For more information email bethelcrowd@outlook.com