Youngsters step into panto spotlight

Young cast hopefuls at the Sheringham pantomime auditions. Picture: RICHARD BATSON

Young cast hopefuls at the Sheringham pantomime auditions. Picture: RICHARD BATSON - Credit: RICHARD BATSON

Bright young stage talent sang, danced and acted their hearts out to earn a place in a seaside pantomime.

Fifty hopefuls stepped into the audition spotlight with dreams of landing a role in Peter Pan at Sheringham Little Theatre.

The search was on for Lost Boys, pirates, plus the key parts of John, Michael and warrior princess Tiger Lily.

With numbers pinned to their clothes they were put through their paces learning lines, dance routines and songs under the eagle eyes of director Nick Earnshaw and his vocal and dance experts.

'We are looking for youngsters with stage presence who can connect with the audience, who can sing and dance on beat,' said Mr Earnshaw.

'It was a good turnout and they were all very good – and we could have taken on more, but because we are the Little Theatre we cannot!'

Selection was also down seeking a mixture of sizes to fill parts ranging from small Lost Boys to bigger pirates.

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But the casting session also threw up the need for Mr Earnshaw to rewrite the script – when the girl who landed the Tiger Lily role – Rachel Feetham - was younger and smaller than the original plan.

'She was so good and brought something different to the role – so I will rewrite the panto to fit.'

In October the youngsters – who, apart from Tiger Lily, are split into two teams - begin weekly rehearsals, before joining the main adult professional cast in late November for the final countdown to curtain up in December.

Mr Earnshaw is doing his fourth Sheringham panto, having directed it twice before and played an Ugly Sister in Cinderella back in 2009.

He began writing it back in February and his recipe for a successful festive show was putting modern and local references into a traditional plot – with jokes for the adults as well as the children.'

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

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