By Lisa Rowley
One of my favourite times of the year is fast approaching when young and old get the chance to shout and join in with a sing-song at the theatre. It’s behind you! Oh no it’s not! Yes, it’ll soon be panto season.
I always look forward to what our theatres in Shropshire come up with to draw in the crowds. And the Theatre Severn’s production of Sleeping Beauty looks as though it will be a winner.
For a start it’s a production brought successful company, Evolution Productions, headed by husband and wife team, Paul Hendy and Emily Wood. Staff at J&PR have loved their pantos in the past and this year it promises to be no different.
Evolution have secured another glittering cast, whom I am sure will entertain audiences. I’m glad to see the return of Brad Fitt, who is always a favourite as the pantomime dame. Fitt is taking time out from Leicester’s Curve Theatre where he works as a producer and always looks like he loves his panto roles. I’m sure he considers Shrewsbury as a second home and the audience almost as he’s extended family.
I’m curious to find out what surprises are in store at this year’s panto after hints from comedian Adam Moss, who is also returning for another turn on the Theatre Severn stage with Fitt, this year as Jangles. He says: “We have a real surprise in store. I don’t want to give the game away just yet but it involves us both in a comedy bathroom and, I kid you not, two tons of water.”
Fans of Radio Shropshire’s Eric Smith will also be pleased to see that he will be performing again – this time as King Eric. While those who watch the Eurovision Song Contest might recognise Josh James, who plays the prince, from his performance at the 2010 competition in Oslo. Completing the main cast is Ella Vize as Beauty and Justine Mead as Fairy Moonbeam.
Pantomimes are always popular, even in difficult economic circumstances and theatre bosses are expecting tickets to sell quickly.
Theatre Manager Peter Nicholson told us that pantomime in Shrewsbury continues to go from from strength to strength. Last year almost 35,000 people flocked to see Jack and the Beanstalk and already advance sales are exceeding those of last year.
“Around half of the tickets for Sleeping Beauty have been snapped up already, the equivalent of more than 25 sold-out performances,” he said.
“We have a fantastic partnership with Evolution who produce fantastic shows year after year.
“The positive feedback we receive from audiences is overwhelming and I would like to thank them for their support. We’re already looking forward to welcoming everybody to Sleeping Beauty.”
I certainly can’t wait to visit Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn and encourage anyone who wants to see the production to buy tickets as soon as possible.
Sleeping Beauty opens on December 5 and runs until January 12. Tickets are available from the Box Office at Theatre Severn (01743 281281) or online at www.theatresevern.co.uk.
J&PR are a Shropshire PR agency covering Shrewsbury, Telford, north Shropshire, south Shropshire and parts of Mid and North Wales. As well as working with businesses, organisations and events across the region on PR campaigns J&PR run regular DIY PR Training Courses and DIY Digital PR Training Courses at venues in the county.