Richmond theatre launch popular annual knitting appeal

This year, the historic theatre is appealing for knitted or crocheted vegetables which will be used during the 57 performances of Rapunzel, taking place from Wednesday, December 6 to Sunday, January 7, 2024.

Mimicking the behaviour of audiences in Georgian times, the knitted vegetables will be thrown at the actors at a given point in the show, which will see the dame (aka Mrs Spud), as the proprietor of a vegetarian café.

Read more: Boy, 10, completes Darlington fun run raising money for Down’s Syndrome group

The knitting tradition started back in 2011, when over 1,000 bananas were knitted for The Adventures of Sinbad.

Since then, there have been snowballs, apples, doughnuts, hearts and fish to name but a few.

They are largely knitted by members of the local community but, over the years, it has become a much wider phenomena with enthusiastic contributions received from across the UK and abroad.

“It’s as though there are two pantomime launches,” said theatre manager and pantomime director, Clare Allen.

“The first is the naming of the panto, which is announced on the last night of the outgoing production and the second is the reveal of the knitted item. In fact, some might say the second is the most important!

“It is fantastic the way that everyone embraces this project from experienced knitters to those who just want to try their hand at something fun and new.

“We appreciate every single one of them. The love and thought that goes into these creations is phenomenal,” she added.

Many of the knitted donations come with a story. Last year, a batch of fish destined for Pinocchio came in from a 95-year-old lady from Northallerton who knitted them alongside her daughter as a shared pastime and another box of beautiful rainbow fish were flown in specially from Norway by a lady who regularly holidays in the Dales.

Once the pantomime is over, the Theatre makes sure that new homes are found for the knitted objects. Last year’s knitted fish were donated to local nurseries and playgroups to make displays and for use in counting and sorting activities.

Read next:

All types of vegetables are welcome, and knitters are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination.

Examples of patterns can be picked up from the Box Office or downloaded from the panto page on the Theatre’s website:

People can also use their own designs.

Vegetables should be handed in at the Box Office by Saturday, November 25.

The Northern Echo | What’s On