UPDATE: 12.55pm

ACTORS rehearsing for the Christmas panto Jack and the Beanstalk used a rope from their show to pluck an elderly woman from the river Usk during a dramatic rescue last night. 

The cast of the show grabbed the long rope Jack uses to pull his cow after hearing the woman’s cries for help at the Riverfront Theatre in Newport. 

Police said the 72-year-old woman from Newport had been in the “bitterly cold” waters for at least 15 minutes. 

She was taken to Royal Gwent Hospital after police helped with the rescue by going into the river and using a buoy to drag her to safety. 

Ian Liston, the producer of the Christmas panto, said today: “The actors were in the dressing room and the window was open. 

“They heard somebody crying and shouting in the river so they ran downstairs and alerted the stage and technical managers. 

“Everyone went outside immediately. They saw the woman struggle.

“The first thing they could find to help them was a rope used in the show for Daisy the cow. 

“They took the long rope and used it to throw the woman a lifeline.” 

Fire crews from Duffryn, Malpas and Maindee also helped with the rescue at around 8.30pm. 

Chief Insp Michael Moyles said today the woman had suffered from the effects of hypohermia and was being kept in hospital this morning. 

They are keeping an open mind as to how she ended up in the river. 

Jack and the Beanstalk tells the story of a young boy living with his widowed mother and a cow, who is their only source of income. 

When the cow stops giving milk, Jack's mother tells him to take the cow to the market to be sold.

In the Christmas production Jack uses a long rope to pull the cow giving rise to gags on stage. 

The Hiss & Boo company is putting on the production of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Riverfront Theatre in Kingsway from December 1. To book tickets, call the box office on 01633 656 757.


Friday 27 November - 9.25pm

A WOMAN has been rescued from the River Usk in Newport tonight. 

She was pulled out of the water near the Riverfront by firefighters and taken by ambulance to the city’s Royal Gwent Hospital at about 8.30pm. 

Fire crews from Duffryn, Malpas and Maindee attended and left at 8.45pm. 

Her condition is unknown.