Lowestoft panto posts record ticket sale

Hayley Mace As Lowestoft prepares for the premiere of its first professional pantomime for nearly half a century tonight, ticket sales have already smashed the theatre's box office records.

Hayley Mace

As Lowestoft prepares for the premiere of its first professional pantomime for nearly half a century tonight, ticket sales have already smashed the theatre's box office records.

Peter Pan at the Marina Theatre will star Ken Farrington, who played Tom King in Emmerdale, alongside Jamie Rickers, presenter of GMTV's Toonattick show, and Hollyoaks actress Sarah Jane Buckley.

Apart from a few touring pantos, the last resident professional panto to come to Lowestoft was in the winter of 1960-61.

Theatre manager Martin Halliday said that tickets for the show are already proving to be very popular.

He said: "We're delighted that the show has broken all of our panto sales records before it has even opened. It appears the public understand just how important this show is for the future of the Marina and their support has been nothing short of phenomenal."

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Children's presenter Jamie Rickers, who is starring as comedy sidekick Smee, said: "I'm nervous but very excited. There's so much to remember, we go in and out of songs and dances so quickly. I think I've been singing the songs in my sleep."

Mr Farrington, best known for his role as Annie Walker's wayward son Billy in Coronation Street, makes his panto debut as the villainous Captain Hook alongside television actress Sarah Jane Buckley as Mrs Darling.

Having a professional pantomime has enabled the Marina Theatre to increase the number of scheduled performances to include Boxing Day and Christmas Eve in the run for the first time. There will also be a signed performance on December 30 at 7pm.

Peter Pan is at the Marina Theatre from tonight until January 4. To book tickets, call the box office on 01502 533200.