Soon it’ll be All About Pantomimes

Summer is long gone, and we’re ploughing on through the autumn season which is full of great theatre, and soon it’ll be all about the pantomimes. Oh yes it will! To kick off proceedings, I thought I’d highlight a few of the best panto picks across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire from traditional, quirky and beyond.

Sticking to all of the traditional Panto formulas, the Norwich Theatre Royal (17 Dec-19 Jan) is set to be a good one with the ever-popular Cinderella starring the likes of Richard Gauntlett, Joe Tracini and David Gant. You can expect magical twists, fun, laughter and adventure with this production telling the timeless tale of the servant girl who falls in love with Prince Charming. The Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich (14-31 December) and the St Georges Theatre (14- 30 Dec), Great Yarmouth are also sticking with tradition of another magical and beloved fairy-tale classic, Beauty and the Beast (14-31 December). Get the family to join the adventures of Dick Whittington and His Cat, who also gets two outings in Norfolk at the Little Theatre, Sheringham (7 Dec-1 Jan) and Princess Theatre, Hunstanton (30 Nov-1 Jan).

Over in Cambridgeshire, some of the classic takes on panto include Cambridge Arts Theatre (28 Nov-11 Jan) take on Cinderella, which is set to star Wayne Sleep, Liza Goddard and Matt Crosby with further casting expected soon. The Cresset, Peterborough (7-30 Dec) is also giving us a spin at Cinderella and promises the sparkliest sets, the funniest jokes, the catchiest songs, and the ugliest sisters. Dance lovers can rejoice, as Ballet Central returns to The ADC Theatre Cambridge (17-19 Dec) to perform their adaption of the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker. The Key Theatre, Peterborough (5 Dec-5 Jan) are bringing us the beloved Beauty and the Beast.

For the alternative offerings, Norwich Playhouse presents a unique co-production, with Norwich Theatre Royal and Lost in Translation, of A Circus Carol (11-21 Dec). Many know the iconic Charles Dickens tale, but not like this – as this special circus production is filled with gasps, thrills and laughs! With acrobatics, ghosts of past, present and future, and some truly amazing trickery, this marvellously intricate reimagining captures all the thrills and spills of the original festive tale with even more spectacle.

Famed for their unique offering, this year’s show from Cambridge Junction (11 Dec-5 Jan) is The Wind in the Willows, presented by Figs in Wigs which promises to be a fun reimagining of the beloved family tale. Especially when in the depths of winter it often seems like there’s nothing alive out there in the forest, yet there’s a whole world unfolding right before your eyes! Join the sensitive Mole, the gregarious Ratty, the world-weary Badger and the very excitable Toad as they go on a brand new festive adventure. The ADC Theatre Cambridge (10-14 Dec) is also offering up a production of The Wind in the Willows, as adapted by Alan Bennett.

All this and I’ve only scraped the surface; with all these Pantos in just two counties alone, I look forward to bringing you the picks of Suffolk and Essex next month in our Panto Special edition of Grapevine. As you’ll have noticed there’s a few common names appearing so what’s your prediction of the most performed Panto of 2019? Drop us a message on Facebook with your guesses!