Panto goes on...oh yes it does!

It's the happy ending you would expect from any worthy pantomime…Less than 24 hours after learning the theatre where they were to perform Sleeping Beauty had been closed on the grounds of public safety, Great Yarmouth Operatic and Dramatic Society has confirmed a new date for their opening night at a hastily arranged new venue.

It's the happy ending you would expect from any worthy pantomime…

Less than 24 hours after learning the theatre where they were to perform Sleeping Beauty had been closed on the grounds of public safety, Great Yarmouth Operatic and Dramatic Society has confirmed a new date for their opening night at a hastily arranged new venue.

The plot was developing more like a tragedy than a fun-filled pantomime when the borough council decided it had to close the town's St George's Theatre after rotten timber was found in the tower of the 18th century listed building.

Just five days before their scheduled opening night, the 40-strong cast were in serious need of a good fairy…and their wish was granted when the council volunteered the use of the town hall Assembly Room.

Society chairman Graham Turner, who also plays the pantomime dame, said last night: “We have had to put things back slightly and our new opening performance will be on Saturday December 23. We will be having two shows on that day.”

Mr Turner will today be meeting staff from Lowestoft firm Scenery Projects to consider any adaptions that will be needed to the scenery they are hiring.

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He re-issued his plea for help from people who might be able to lend scaffolding, sound and lighting equipment.

Meanwhile, emergency work continued yesterday to strengthen scaffolding round the tower of St George's Theatre to eliminate any risk of debris falling into King Street in high winds.

David Frowde, the council's head of architectural services, said it was hoped remedial measures would quickly allow the re-opening of the theatre, and funding would then be sought from bodies such as English Heritage for a full-scale restoration costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Anyone who can help Mr Turner with lighting or sound equipment is asked to call him on 01493-748865.