5 Not To Be Missed Pantomimes
Christmas is on the horizon which means that the pantomime season is officially here. It’s time to dust off you best hisses and boos, slap your thigh and get the kids down to the local theatre, to enjoy this time-honoured, uniquely British tradition. Wherever you are in the country you can guarantee your nearest panto will be a brilliant day out for all the family. Here are our favourites…
Peter Pan, Central Theatre, Chatham
This year Captain Hook in classic pantomime, Peter Pan, will be a bit more pop star than pirate, as 90s rapper Vanilla Ica is set to play the swash buckling baddy. No doubt younger parents can expect a taste of their teenage years with the obligatory performance of Ice Ice Baby, plus all the usual traditional fun for the kids.
Cinderella, Watersmeet Theatre, Rickmansworth
The Watersmeet Theatre is home to a classic family pantomime this Christmas. G4’s Jonathon Amstell stars as Prince Charming alongside Suzanne David’s Cinderella. This is a great traditional pantomime for younger children who might not have been before to experience the“it’s behind you”sand oh no “it isn’t”s for the first time. There is an extra magical twist to this panto in the form of Buttons played by illusionist Michael Otton. This is sure to add an extra sprinkle of magic to the mix.
Cinderella, the Opera House, Manchester
In complete contrast to Rickmansworth’s classic fairytale take on Cinderella, Manchester’s Opera House is ruling on Louis Spence to draw in the crowds. Following his performance as the camp cabin boy in Peter Pan in Wimbledon last year, Spence stars as Dandini. This is a role typically reserved for an actress but the Pineapple Dance Studio diva will no doubt pull it off with hilarious results.
Jedward and the Beanstalk, Olympia Theatre, Dublin
Other reality TV stars making a return to the panto stage this year are X Factor’s John and Edward. Following last year’s appearance as the Fairy Godbrothers in Cinderella, they are bringing double trouble to another family favourite, Jack and the Beanstalk. Not only have they landed the lead roles but the Olympia Theatre has really rolled out the barrel by renaming the panto after the duo. Perhaps the Dublin institution is attempting to beat last year’s record €1 million ticket sales?
Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
In an alternative to the classic family pantomime, the New Wolsey Theatre’s famous rock ‘n’ roll panto is back for another year. Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood features classic rock ‘n’ roll songs such as The Hippy Hippy Shake, I Shot the Sheriff, Girls Just Want To Have Fun,Born to Run andSigned, Sealed, Delivered among others. This is sure to have the audience dancing in the aisles well into the New Year.
Snow White , The Orchard, Dartford
Ann Widdicombe has embraced the fact the she was named ‘the pantomime act’ in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing and is starring as Widdy in Waiting in Snow White in Dartford. As if this wasn’t enough for fans of the BBC ballroom show, she will be reunited with her on-screen nemesis Craig Revel Horwood, who will be starring opposite her as the evil, yet glamorous, Wicked Queen.
These are just a few of the fantastic selection of pantomimes, traditional and otherwise, that are going on up and down the country. Why not check out what’s happening at your local theatre?