Record breaking year for Norfolk panto

RICHARD BATSON Sheringham's pantomime the Wizard of Oz broke box office records, playing to an average 88pc capacity during its three week, 46-show run. Takings were up 34pc on last year, with nearly 7,000 tickets sold, said the Little Theatre's artistic director Debbie Thompson.

RICHARD BATSON

Sheringham's pantomime the Wizard of Oz broke box office records, playing to an average 88pc capacity during its three-week, 46-show run.

Takings were up 34pc on last year, with nearly 7,000 tickets sold, said the Little Theatre's artistic director Debbie Thompson. "We are absolutely delighted as we sold 2,000 more tickets than last year," Mrs Thompson added. "What particularly pleased me is the tremendous feedback we have had from audiences."

Special matinee performances of the show, which starred Paul Ferguson - Bubble from Channel 4's Big Brother - and local comedian and radio presenter Greg Powles, were seen by Brownie and Scout groups and 18 north Norfolk schools.

Mrs Thompson put the panto's success down to the universal appeal of a classic, magical story with a modern flavour, combined with the efforts of a talented, professional cast and crew along with local involvement, including dogs Mouse from North Walsham and Poppy from Bodham who shared the role of Dorothy's pet Toto.

"We also had some very exciting special effects this year, and a new designer who worked specifically for the venue. And what was really nice was that we had five local dance schools provide teenage dancers and 60 children to play munchkins. They really were one of the highlights of the show," she added.

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The theatre, which is closed for refurbishment of the coffee bar, will re-open on January 30, with a screening of the Ken Loach film The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

The theatre's next production is the family show Science in a Suitcase presented by Dr Ken on February 3. Call the box office on 01263 822347.