Norwich Theatre Royal celebrates successful pantomime season
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
The fairytale magic of Cinderella saw about 60,000 people take their seats to watch the show at Norwich Theatre Royal over the festive season.
And while the curtain only came down on the final performance last night, work is already under way on next Christmas's pantomime at the city venue - oh yes it is!
Peter Pan will take to the Theatre Royal stage in December with panto stalwart Richard Gauntlett already signed up to appear as Smee in the 2014-15 show as well as once again write and direct the production.
In Cinderella, Mr Gauntlett played Buttons and starred alongside soul diva and former Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson, former Emmerdale and Hollyoaks actor Matt Milburn, and Christopher Ryan whose best-known roles include Mike in The Young Ones.
Final figures are still being counted, but Cinderella sold more than 59,630 seats by the middle of the final week, 5,200 more than the total sales for 2012-13 pantomime Aladdin.
Jane Walsh, the pantomime's executive producer, added: 'We are delighted at the success of Cinderella. The cast, crew and theatre team have worked incredibly hard to make it a success. As ever with Richard's work, the show was the traditional story of Cinderella with a twist and it is a formula which delighted audience members of all ages. It was such a pleasure to see so many happy faces leaving the auditorium after shows.'
She added: 'Although we are very pleased with how well Cinderella has gone, the hard work does not stop and the panto production team are already beavering away on Peter Pan which once again promises to be a fantastic pantomime for all the family.'
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For Mr Gauntlett, Peter Pan will be his 14th Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime and he said he was looking forward to playing Smee. He said: 'Smee is a fantastic character. He is a pirate who does not really want to be a pirate.'
But Mr Gauntlett is keeping his cards close to his chest about the details of the production.
'I cannot say too much yet because I am still working on it. I can say there will be a lot of flying and we are planning some very exciting scenes for the show,' he said.
Tickets are already on sale for Peter Pan,
Jane Walsh said: 'Lots of people have already snapped up their tickets for the show to ensure they get their favourite seats and we are keeping pace with Cinderella sales based on January last year.'
• Peter Pan is at Norwich Theatre Royal December 18 2014 to January 18 2015. Call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk