Soap bad boy is King’s Lynn panto star

A bad boy of soap opera is swapping Albert Square for King's Lynn's Tuesday Market Place this Christmas.

John Altman, who played nasty Nick Cotton in Eastenders, will be starring in the first Christmas pantomime to be held at the King Lynn Corn Exchange.

It is hoped the �100,000 commercial production of Jack and the Beanstalk will bring new and younger audiences to the town's theatre.


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Earlier this year West Norfolk Council announced the pantomime, traditionally held at the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton, would be moved to the King's Lynn Corn Exchange.

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The Hunstanton Theatre management will be leased out, with the successful bidder expected to be announced tomorrow.

Mr Altman said he was looking forward to being part of the first pantomime to be held in King's Lynn.

'I'm really excited about that and we hope it is going to be a big success. I think the way to make it a success will be to give it everything we've got. 'We are going to give them a top class panto of the standard you would find in any big city. That is what's coming here to King's Lynn.'

Mr Altman said he had been offered parts in other towns, but had chosen King's Lynn.

'I decided to do this one because I seemed to recall that it's a lovely place. This came up and I knew that it was a very attractive place.

'It is great fun doing panto and I love entertaining the kids. I always get a great reaction from them.

'Having recently been back to Eastenders I will hopefully be recognised from people aged eight to 80.'

General manager of arts and entertainment in King's Lynn Les Miller said they had chosen the Eastbourne-based company Jordan Productions to stage the first pantomime because of its reputation and track record.

'I have so much confidence in the company. I think they will do a really attractive show.'

'We are really looking ahead to bringing new audiences in. There will be new schools coming who haven't been to panto before because the teachers can walk their pupils to the theatre.

'West Norfolk is a sub-region in itself. This is serving a big area. This is West Norfolk stepping up to the plate.'

Mr Miller said moving the pantomime from Hunstanton to King's Lynn would give them the opportunity to invest and expand.

'We can put more investment into the Panto because we have a bigger room. The audience was going down year on year in Hunstanton.'

Jordan Productions founder and the show writer Chris Jordan said he has spent time in the town some years ago when visiting his mother-in-law in Denver.

'I did know the town because of this connection. I was aware that there was a big area here without a big commercial pantomime. This venue from a technical and logistical point of view is really well set up I discovered when we first came down for the site visit.

'There are a lot of people that think panto is just for children. I think panto should appeal to everybody. It is an old cliche to say that it is for all the family, but we want 17, 18, 20-year-olds to come and see it. It should really appeal to everybody, not just the kids.

'It is not blue in any way, but it has a relative amount of sophistication in it. We do really try to cast strong people.'

Jack and the Beanstalk will be showing at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange from December 9 to January 2. For tickets call the box office on 01553 764864 or go to www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk.

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