The New Dyfi Players are Machynlleth's amazingly good amateur dramatic society which regularly put on pantomimes from 1978 to 1998 and then less frequently up to present day. Joyce Harris and Ivan Warren were the original prime movers and gathered a cast and crew of remarkable talent. The first seven pantomimes kept to traditional themes with lush painted back cloths and scenery expertly painted by Ivan's wife Liz and stored in a shed at Warren Parc.
After several years and under the influx of new talent and enthusiasm, Panto themes departed from the traditional with Pete Raine’s script, "RATS!" based on the Pied Piper. One of the main reasons for this was that professional scripts had to be bought and licensed and there were people in the community who had the talent and enthusiasm to write specifically for the Mach Panto.The Panto was always held in February instead of the traditional Christmas and rehearsals would start in October with recruitment of all the children for the choruses by Nerina Dobson. The Panto proved surprisingly popular with the kids so the choruses had to be divided into babies, juniors and seniors – as many as 60 members from aged five to eighteen.
The first live music was initially supplied by Dave Nichols on piano who was then joined by Peter Dobson on drums and percussion in 1980. The crew for lighting, special effects and sound were led by Bob Todd whose genius created many memorable scenes.
The Panto successes attracted a lot of new people and the number of people involved in productions steadily grew and the live music developed into a full band with backing singers.The Mach Panto became legendary and the whole experience was like joining a social club for the winter with rehearsals followed by drinks at The White Lion.