Panto time for Tick and Tock the comedy crocs at Sheringham Little Theatre

Sheringham panto creator and director Nick Earnshaw with Tick and Tock the crocodile puppets.

Sheringham panto creator and director Nick Earnshaw with Tick and Tock the crocodile puppets. - Credit: Richard Batson

A pair of specially-made crocodile puppets will spell double trouble for Captain Hook at a north Norfolk pantomime.

The pirate baddie from Peter Pan famously lives in fear of a croc that swallowed a crewman's alarm clock, and also snacked on his hand when it was cut off in a swordfight with the boy who never goes up.

But show director Nick Earnshaw has decided to have two of them to add a new dimension to the classic adventure tale.

He turned to top puppet maker David Leech, having worked with him on a student drama production of The Lonely Goatherd song from the Sound of Music at a festival in his home town of Stone in Staffordshire.

'I had the idea of splitting the character in two and making it twin brother crocodiles. That way we could have sibling rivalry within the story to add a fresh twist.


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'They are a straight man and a fool. One is posh with a monocle, the other crazy with red hair - partly based on my sons.'

Mr Leech designs characters for famous puppet makers Pelham, and said he enjoyed the challenge of being asked to make a croc for the first time.

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'David was great. We had a meeting, and I described these two crocs including their personalities and appearance. He immediate came back with lots of ideas and examples,' said Mr Earnshaw, who has directed the Sheringham Panto twice before.

And the puppetry doesn't stop at the crocs, with Mr Earnshaw promising more marionette magic in the panto show.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: 'Peter Pan is already a magical story but the crocs, and other puppetry involved, really puts the icing on our annual Christmas cake.'

The panto tells the timeless tale of Wendy Darling and her younger brothers enjoying stories of Peter Pan's adventures including battling with the evil Captain Hook, amid knockabout humour, swordfights, fairy magic, song and dance.

Peter Pan runs from December 7 to January 1, with two shows a day, and including some dates especially for schools. For tickets and information call the box office on 01263 822347 or visit the website on www.sheringhamlittlethetre.com

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