NORTH Yorkshire actor Luke Adamson knows the world of pantomime only too well.

He played villainous David Leonard's daft sidekick Useless Eustace in York Theatre Royal's Jack And The Beanstalk in 2017/2018: a performance that brought him a Great British Pantomime Award nomination no less.

He had first appeared in dame Berwick Kaler's Theatre Royal pantomimes as a bairn during his Selby childhood, as well as in amateur pantos in Thorpe Willoughby.

Now Luke has drawn on his panto experiences to wrote Oh No It Isn't!, his humorous and moving account of "the best of [Ugly] sisters on stage but the worst of friends off it".

Produced by LKT Productions and co-directed by Kennedy Bloomer and Toby Hampton, the two-hander plays York Theatre Royal Studio tomorrow and Thursday at 7.45pm.

York Press:

"It's an impassioned yet tender love letter to the world of performance," says Luke Adamson of his play Oh No It Isn't 

Setting the scene for his play, Luke says: "It takes places at the final performance of Cinderella in a moth-eaten, regional theatre, where backstage tensions threaten to boil over on stage.

"Will the egotism, one-upmanship and sexual politics remain confined to the dressing room? Will the Ugly Sisters keep the professional professional and the personal personal? Will we ever find out what happened during Babes In The Wood?"

Based on a lifetime of experience on stage and backstage, Oh No It Isn’t! explores the highs and lows of life in the theatre. "Using real anecdotes and stories, it's an impassioned yet tender love letter to the world of performance," says Luke.

"It's something that's been in my head for a while: writing a play set on and off stage, with the dynamic of the calm, graceful swan on stage and the feet paddling frantically off stage to keep everything afloat.

"I wanted to show the effect of the trials and tribulations that go into creating a show."

York Press:

Luke Adamson in pantomime as a youngster

His play has  its roots in Luke's artistic endeavours away from Yorkshire. Living in London since his drama student days, Luke is the associate director at the Hope Theatre in Islington, one of those theatres above a pub so beloved in London.

"It's an award-winning 50-seat theatre, where I programme the Sunday and Monday shows, when it's a great chance to help companies get their foot on the ladder," he says.

"Anyway, we had an empty slot last April, and I had this idea that I pitched to Toby Hampton, the up-and-coming director. Originally, it was to be a solo show with me in it, but Toby said it would be much more interesting to have the Ugly Sisters from Cinderella, where you see their rivalry.

"Within three weeks, I wrote it, we rehearsed it and put it on stage, and we ended up getting five-star reviews."

Now, Oh No It Isn't has been programmed for the Theatre Royal's Studio spring season. "I think it will appeal to fans of pantomime, contemporary drama, and just plays full stop," says Luke. "We switch from on stage to off stage in an instant; we make it really fast moving, and the pantomime scenes change every night, depending on the audience that night.

York Press:

"It will appeal to fans of pantomime, contemporary drama, and just plays full stop," reckons Luke Adamson, pictured here with Robbie Capaldi

"For the actors, there's the contrasting skills of being in the moment on stage and the truth of the arguments in the dressing room, to then switching again to being pantomime Ugly Sisters, talking to the audience and offering them lots of room for ad-libbing, so it's going to be great to do it up close in the Studio."

Luke and co-star Robbie Capaldi knew each other from drama school days at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in Wandsworth, since when Capaldi has performed for the riotous S**tfaced Shakespeare. "I knew he'd be perfect for this show because of his improvising skills, and we bounce off each other really well, especially the pantomime scenes," says Adamson.

He uses stories from his own panto encounters in York and Tewkesbury, where he recalls one night there was no all-important transformation scene in Cinderella, plus a story from Theatre Royal panto perennial Martin Barrass, and tales of people not getting on –" though I never experienced that at the Theatre Royal, where the company ethos is so good," he says.

At the time of this interview, Luke was on crutches, after a reconstruction of his medial patella femoral ligament in his left leg. "My knee kept dislocating, when I was changing direction, from an old ruby injury, so extra hamstring tendon has gone in there to hold the kneecap in place," he says. "Now the knee will be fine for the show."

Oh No It Isn’t!, York Theatre Royal Studio, April 17 and 18, 7.45pm. Box office: 01904 623568 or at Please note, this show is not suitable for children. Further performances: The Holbeck, Leeds, June 16 and Harrogate Theatre Studio, June 21.