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Norwich Theatre Royal panto to begin earlier for Christmas 2020

PUBLISHED: 14:46 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:08 15 January 2020

Dick Whittington, the 2020/21 pantomime at Norwich Theatre Royal, will start and end earlier Credit: Antony Kelly

Dick Whittington, the 2020/21 pantomime at Norwich Theatre Royal, will start and end earlier Credit: Antony Kelly

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The rags to riches tale of Dick Whittington has been announced as the next panto heading to Norwich Theatre Royal and this time it will start earlier to try and make the most of people's Christmas spirit.

Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Stephen Crocker. Credit: Ella WilkinsonNorwich Theatre Royal chief executive Stephen Crocker. Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Whilst the current run of Cinderella began on December 17 and is set to finish this Sunday, January 19, next Christmas the panto runs from December 8 to January 10.

Theatre Royal chief executive Stephen Crocker made the decision after consulting with experts in the retail sector and noticing over the last few years there was a greater appetite for panto in December.

Mr Crocker said: "Panto sits in a really important context and nowadays it in inextricably linked to Christmas, which is quite interesting as in the early days of panto it took place at Easter.

READ MORE: All you need to know about Les Miserables at Norwich Theatre Royal

"Attitudes have changed and it is the Black Friday effect, ever since it came to the UK, as planning and celebrations start that bit earlier and people are getting in the mood for Christmas by the end of November.

"I've done a lot of thinking and talked to people in retail and they absolutely back this up and we have also had conversations with schools and wanted to give them more availability in December.

Cinderella, Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime 2019/20. Picture: Richard Jarmy PhotographyCinderella, Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime 2019/20. Picture: Richard Jarmy Photography

"Dick Whittington tickets are already on sale and one performance in December is already 60pc sold out, so we are seeing the decision has made sense."

READ MORE: 7 West End shows coming to Norwich in 2020

Whilst there has been no decisions made on the cast for Dick Whittington, a panto which hasn't been at the theatre for over a decade, work will start on the story after Cinderella ends.

Theatre bosses are also celebrating the success of alternative festive show A Circus Carol, by Norwich-based Lost in Translation, which ran at the sister venue Norwich Playhouse this Christmas and Cinderella is also set to be "another record-breaker at the box office."

Mr Crocker added: "A Circus Carol was phenomenal and the audiences adored it and we had lovely feedback and sell-out shows.

READ MORE: 15 family shows coming to Norwich in 2020

Lost in Translation Circus team during rehearsals for A Circus Carol. Matthew Green as Marley perfects his juggling, with Lawrence Swaddle as Scrooge. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLost in Translation Circus team during rehearsals for A Circus Carol. Matthew Green as Marley perfects his juggling, with Lawrence Swaddle as Scrooge. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"We have another new Christmas production in the pipeline which we will reveal in the next few months, but it won't be circus this time."

You can purchase tickets for Cinderella and Dick Whittington at norwichtheatreroyal.co.uk

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