Panto in Eye? Oh yes there is!

CELIA WIGG When Eye Theatre closed earlier this year some feared it would mean the end of town's popular pantomimes.

CELIA WIGG

When Eye Theatre closed earlier this year some feared it would mean the end of town's popular pantomimes.

But it was a case of "Oh no it didn't " yesterday, as the town hall echoed with the laughter of delighted children at the opening performance of Aladdin.

The first pantomime ever to be staged in the historic civic building, the show is a joint venture between the town council and producer Matthew Townshend, whose company has provided the professional expertise.

He said: "I have got a lot of connections with the area, and the decision was taken between myself and the town council of Eye to make sure we don't lose these productions. It has been a very steep learning curve and the council is very much behind it.

"We had to make sure the town hall can actually be used for this performance which included testing the beams to ensure they can take the weight of all the lights and staging.

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"When the audience comes in they are going to be amazed at the way the hall has been transformed into a wonderful theatre. There's a complete stage at one end and you can imagine how much work has gone into this."

The Boxing Day matinee was a sell-out, and the colourful cast received thunderous applause as they took their final bows.

Mr Townshend played Widow Twankey and the line-up also included Steve Smallwood as Wishee Washee, Liesel Wickins in the title role, John Venes of Radio Broadland making his pantomime debut as the Emperor of China, and youngsters from the Saxtead School of Dance in Suffolk.

Shows will be held twice daily at 2pm and 7pm until January 8, except for December 31 when there will be just a matinee. There is no show on New Year's Day.

To book call 01379 650523, or visit estate agents Partidge and Lucas in Eye.

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