National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 April 2022

All three top awards at the national finals of NFYFC’s Pantomime competition, sponsored by KUHN, were won by members of Wales YFC.

Despite the challenges in Wales of competing and rehearsing for the national finals due to Covid-19 restrictions, Maendy YFC from Glamorgan and Bedwas YFC from Gwent impressed the judges with their perfomances, which were both based on the story of Aladdin.

The overall Pantomime winner was Maendy YFC with its production of Anarchy in Arabia written by former club member Richard Harris and directed by another alumni Richard Western.

Richard Western said the production had united rural young people during the challenges of the pandemic.

“It brought us together as a club – especially due to the isolation we have all experienced over the last couple of years,” said Richard. “We have a very gifted script writer Richard Harris and he always wanted to do something far Eastern. It’s a lovely set, it’s colourful, it’s bright, big costumes.

“Being Welsh, we’re big on singing. When I open the stage, I want to see a cast singing and leaving the stage singing, so that’s where I felt we had the edge over the other clubs. But that’s a Welsh thing – we’re very lyrical.”

Performing is certainly at the heart of Maendy YFC as the club has now won the national competition five times, with their last success back in 2003 for another Pantomime.

Club Chair Robert David is hoping this latest win will inspire members throughout the county.

“This win is great for Glamorgan too – hopefully people will see Glamorgan is thriving as a County and they will join up,” said Robert who played the part of Arnie in the show and was looking forward to celebrating the club’s success.

The production featured a cast of 18 YFC members, including the winner of the Best Female Actor Award Christina Thomas who played the part of the Prince.

Christina, who works in a call centre in Cardiff but also sings for local venues, is in her final year of YFC.

Richard said: “Her talent is incredible and I just love listening to her sing. She has a phenomenal voice and her understanding of feeling the mood of the song is very good. She has been with Maendy YFC for 10 years and this is her final year, so it was nice for her to do a bigger part.”

The Best Male Actor Award was won by another Welsh YFC member – but this time from Bedwas YFC in Gwent. Joseph Watkins played the evil villain Abanazar in Bedwas YFC’s production of Aladdin, which came third in the overall competition.

The club were put through to the national finals without competing at the Wales YFC final because it was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Joseph, 29, is in his final year of YFC and said: “It was a really big deal for us. It’s the furthest we have ever gone as a club and for my last year in Young Farmers it has been incredible. I couldn’t have hoped for a better result.”

The show was directed by Amy Tamplin who Joseph described as “amazing” and said she gave him the part of Abanazar after he read the first line of the part in a script read-through.

“I absolutely loved playing the villain – it’s fun being evil,” said Joseph who has been in a few YFC productions but never at a national level, and regularly plays on stage with his band.

“My first ever role with YFC was back in 2019 for a different club and without that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to get up on stage with my band. Young Farmers has given me a lot of things.

“It’s a fantastic competition as it gets people used to standing up in front of people and talking. When I went to university, competitions like Public Speaking were really useful for me when giving presentations in front of the class. It’s a fantastic organisation.”

Eight teams competed in the national final across two days (23-24 April) at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa. The competition was judged by NODA Adjudicators Andy Brown and Paul Douglass.

The competition was sponsored by KUHN Farm Machinery and Hannah Britland from the marketing team enjoyed watching the performances.

Hannah said: “KUHN are really proud sponsors of the Pantomime competition. We have supported the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs for many years now and we love being associated with such an active youth organisation.

“It is great to see talented members working together to perform with such confidence on stage – a skillset that KUHN values in its future employees.’’

Buxton YFC in Derbyshire won second place in the competition with their original version of Jack and the Beanstalk, which was written and produced by Peter Slack. Third place was jointly awarded to Cheriton & Tedburn YFC’s production of The Blue, The Bad and the Humpy and Bedwas YFC’s production of Aladdin.

>>Watch an interview with Maendy YFC 


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