Newspaper editor provides the voice for the king in Sheringham pantomime

North Norfolk News editor Richard Batson starring as the (voice of) the King in Sheringham Little Th

North Norfolk News editor Richard Batson starring as the (voice of) the King in Sheringham Little Theatre's Robin Hood panto. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

When you get the call to be King - you really cannot say no.

Ok, so it's only a panto part for three weeks.

And I will only be heard and not seen.

But for a short reign of fame I am to be ... King Richard.

Audiences attending the Sheringham Little Theatre festive romp Robin Hood will get a snippet of my first and only panto appearance from next week.

A few faltering lines delivered via 'Skype' to Robin and his Merry Men.

Those who know me will spot the irony, as I am a bit of a pantophobe who normally tries to avoid such productions - not because they aren't good fun but because of my fear of the ritualised audience participation and being picked on.

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But as a trustee at the venue I like to support its shows, and when the call came from director Debbie Thompson it sounded like a good way of getting involved - without having to get on stage.

Mrs Thompson told me: 'We have a six-strong professional cast, but it is really important to involve the local community .

'We have two teenagers in the Merry Men, and children in the chorus and as babes in the wood, while town crier Tony Nelson voicing the opening announcements.

'So when we needed a King Richard there was only one person to call.'

Last year the panto 'voiceover' for the Magic Mirror was local acting legend John Hurt.

No pressure then.

Robin Hood runs from December 12 to January 3. For more information call 01263 822347 or visit

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