Season for Norfolk pantos over? Oh no it’s not!
- Credit: Submitted
The festive period is long over and with it panto season — oh no its not! Simon Parkin highlights where pantomimes are still bringing seasonal cheer and lots of family fun well into January.
Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, January 20-28, various times, £14.95-£8.75, £38 family, 01502 533200, marinatheatre.co.uk
The Lowestoft Players, who have staged their annual pantomime in the town since 1967, return to the Marina Theatre stage for their post New Year treat with perhaps the most traditional panto story. In their 50th anniversary year, this looks set to be extra special for the multi-award winning local company as it will also be their 50th annual pantomime production. This fast moving comedy production comes with toe-tapping music, fun scenery and costumes, special effects, slapstick comedy and plenty of audience participation. Everything you would expect from a traditional panto to entertain and enchant. Buttons, Cinders and her two Ugly Stepsisters, along with a host of crazy characters feature.
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Lecture Hall, George Lane, Loddon, January 19-20/25-27, 7.30pm, 2.30pm Jan 20 and 27, £7 (£5 cons), 01508 520162, loddonplayers.com
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There has been a regular panto in Loddon since 1976 and this year the Loddon Players perform Aladdin for their 42nd production. The family panto has a home-grown script, written by Steve Burton, with additional material added by members of the cast. Lauren Gray is taking on the lead role of Aladdin, who falls in love with the beautiful Princess Jasmine, played by Rebekah Wick. Back in the panto dame role is Anthony Bunting as Widow Twankey, who made a welcome return to the Players last year after an absence of five years. Another familiar face, Maureen Larkin, is back on the stage again, however not in her usual role of the dame's sidekick. She is the longest serving member involved with the pantomime having performed in every one since 1977. The age of the large cast ranges from five up to 74, with performers from the Funky Feet School of Dance once again a valuable addition to the chorus scenes.
Robin Hood and the Babes In The Wood
Carnegie Room, Cage Lane, Thetford, January 19-27, £8.50 (£7 cons), £7 under-14s, 01842 751975, ticketsource.co.uk
Thetford Players prefer to stage their pantomime after the Christmas rush as a New Year treat. This year it is an amalgam of Robin Hood and the Babes In The Wood story, in an adaptation by Ben Crocker that has been directed by Emma Kelly. Robin Hood is at war with the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. When he hatches a wicked plan to kidnap the Babes it's down to Robin to save the day and stop the Sheriff with a little help from his Merry Men and Maid Marian. The talented 35-strong local cast includes Maddie Soan as Robin Hood, Phil Pearson as Friar Tuck and Bobbie-Jo Wilson as Maid Marion. The dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham is being played by Barry Bailey, while Little Joan is being performed by Leanne White and Harry Smith is Alan-A-Dale. There are only six performances, don't miss it.
Old Buckenham Village Hall, January 18-20, 7.30pm, 2.30pm Jan 20, £8, £4 under-16s, 01953 851946, oldbuckenhamplayers.co.uk
Following the success of previous productions Peter Pan and last year's Aladdin, the Old Buckenham Players kick off their 40th anniversary year with their latest pantomime offering, an adaptation of the classic tale Mother Goose, the nursery rhyme packed story adapted by David Maun. Transported to the magical villager of Sweet Content, join Dame Mother Goose on her journey to discover right from wrong whilst meeting an eccentric mix of characters including Jack & Jill, San & Ella, Fairy Paxo and the dreaded Demon King. Along the way the tale takes in enchanted forests, grand mansions and the court of the Queen. Featuring live music, songs and dance, it has all the traditional panto elements. Tickets on sale in person from Old Buckenham Village Stores or Nuts 'n' Bolts in Attleborough.
Beauty and the Beast
Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston, January 18-20, £10, £5 children, 01493 662832, gorlestonpavilion.co.uk
After the highly successful run of Cinderella at the Gorleston Pavilion before Christmas, the theatre welcomes another panto from Triple T Productions. The company take to the stage with their very own take on the children's favourite Beauty and the Beast. It promises to be a family show containing all the traditional elements of panto with something for all ages with plenty of chances to boo the wicked Horriblé (Lucy Miller), cheer on the good Fairy Rose (Leah Docker), and laugh at the antics of Beauty's sisters, Chablis and Chardonnay (Rachel Wigg and Natasha Bird) as they take part in the story to lead the beauty to tame the beast. Taking on the title roles in the show will be Jenna Harvey as Prince Rowan/Beast and Joanna Lee as Belle.
St Edmund's Hall, Southwold, January 21-27, £8, £4 under-16s, £20 family, ticketsource.co.uk/rspanto
Fun and laughter as the award-winning Reydon and Southwold Pantomime Group take to the stage to perform their annual post Christmas show. Founded in 1981, this year will see the group's 38th performance and all their pantomimes are original works - written annually by the group themselves. The all-female cast collected a prestigious award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) in 2015 for their portrayal of Robin Hood and having tackled Aladdin last year, they return with a suitably fun slant on the classic Daniel Defoe novel of shipwreck, a desert island and pirates. Sure to be full of humour, wit and traditional panto fun — or they'll walk the plank!