Pick of the Pantos!


It may not be the festive season that we’re used to but it is what it is and it doesn’t mean all the magic is faded. For the pantomimes must go on – oh yes they are! With a mix of live theatre and live streams, there is still a plethora of options for supporting our local theatres and pantomimes this year.

To help you point your twinkletoes in the right direction, we have compiled this handy little guide of some of the regions highlights. We are also keeping our listings updated as usual too, so feel free to browse for more options and any updates as, understandably, the situation is ever-changing so dates, times and shows may be subject to change at short notice. However, let’s keep positive and get behind them, as it were…

The Snow Queen (17-24th Dec) at the New Wolsey theatre, Ipswich has been working hard to ensure their beloved rock’n’roll panto is not only accessibly to both a live audience and a remote audience, who are enjoying the show from the comfort of their own home, but they’ve also been working hard on being incredibly accessible. Recently we got to chat to Sue Lawther Brown about what to expect.

Cambridge Junction has teamed up with New International Encounter (NIE) and Tobacco Factory Theatres to also bring us a take on The Snow Queen (from 20th Dec) but solely from the comfort of your sofa. If you get booking soon, you can also watch along with an activity pack for the family to enjoy.

Staying in Cambridge, the Arts Theatre are about to reopen with Dame Trott’s Panto Palaver (11th Dec-3rd Jan)with a star-studded West End cast, this is bound to be a brand-new and feel-good panto themed adventure unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! 

If you’re prepared to endure the winter chill, head over to Bury St Edmunds outside the Angel Hotel (in conjunction with the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds) for an exciting outdoors re-imagining of A Christmas Carol (11-24th Dec). Catch up on our chat with Owen Calvert Lyons about the show.

Also happening in Bury St Edmunds is a special screening of Jack and the Beanstalk at The Apex (12-13th Dec), as presented by Peter Duncan of Blue Peter fame. Also known as a critically-acclaimed Panto Dame, writer and director; he has decided to use his own back garden to this socially distanced pantomime, complete with ingenious sets, fabulous costumes and even a real beanstalk! Also available online at pantoonline.co.uk/jack-and-the-beanstalk.

Red Rose Chain are excited to present a virtual Christmas show with Alice in Wonderland (18th Dec-3rd Jan), so jump down the rabbit hole and get your tickets! It’s bound to bring lots of family fun into your home. Here’s our recent chat with artistic director Jo Carrick and artist Lawrence Russell about what to expect: grapevinelive.co.uk/jo-carrick-lawrence-russell-red-rose-chain.

We do like to be beside the seaside right? Well, if you dust off your ballgowns you can find Cinderella (19th Dec-3rd Jan) at the Spa Pavilion, as brought to you by the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company.Things were still a little uncertain when we spoke to Suzi Lowe, but we had a great chat and she gave us a good insight as to what to expect. There are plans to release it as a stream/DVD at a later date too, in case you miss it!

After the success of the Interlude events in Summer and early Autumn, Norwich Theatre Royal has a busy programme of festivities, with A Right Royal Christmas (16-23rd Dec) – comprised of three different shows to choose between. Wherever you end up, I’m sure you can expect laughs a plenty!

Colchester’s Mercury Theatre is bringing a little bit of magic into our homes, as they’ve lined up Cinderella: online (19th Dec-1st Jan) which is an archive recording of last year’s highly-acclaimed Panto!

Last but by no means least, Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre is reawakening us all with Sleeping Beauty (4th Dec-3rd Jan) so don’t miss this chance to be enchanted by lots of family fun.

Hopefully this has given you a festive schedule as loaded as your stocking! Whether you’re enjoying it live in the theatre or from the comfort of your own hope, hope you find a show or two to support.

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