It's Panto Time in Devon... Oh yes it is!!!
By ExeCellent | Thursday, December 27, 2012, 14:57
ALL ACROSS Devon, the last of the turkey's been eaten, all the presents have been opened, and the wrapping paper's been put out for recycling. But the fun isn't over yet... oh no, it's not!
Eggcellent fun: Paignton Pantomime Productions' "Mother Goose" runs until 2 January at Paignton Palace Theatre. Photo: © Brian Tilley Photography
Far better than trudging round the sales, a family outing to the pantomime is the perfect antidote to that post-Christmas feeling, and a welcome dose of fun that will keep everyone laughing well into the New Year. Wherever you live in Devon, there's sure to be a panto on near you, from an amateur show in the village hall to a professional production on the big stage, so shake off the sluggishness and get set for a good session of cheering and booing! Here's a selection of just some of the pantos on offer around the county.
Don't be silly, Silly Billy!
At Paignton's Palace Theatre, Paignton Pantomime Productions are presenting an all-singing, all-dancing, all-fun production of Mother Goose until 2 January. A jolly show, it features a super catchphrase: don't be silly, silly Billy! For bookings, contact the Palace Theatre, or call 01803 665800.
And from 6 January, the Palace Theatre is also offering a presentation of Dick Whittington from Wonder Productions. Join Dick and his cat Tommy on their quest to seek fame and fortune in the city of London, enjoy some fabulous songs, amazing dancing and that special blend of comedy – all the classic ingredients that help to make that panto experience one you will never forget. And this year there's even a special appearance by Buddy Bear from Crealy Adventure Park! To book your seats, call 01803 665800.
You shall go to the ball!
At Torquay's Princess Theatre, this year's pantomime – Cinderella – promises to entertain, delight and bring the magic of Christmas to everyone of any age, with lots of fun, frolics and laughter. It runs until 6 January and stars Coronation Street's Stephen Arnold as the Prince, alongside Last of the Summer Wine's Tom Owen and family favourite Stuart Wade. To book, call 0844 871 3023.
There's more Dick Whittington on offer at the Theatre Royal Plymouth until 19 January, where this year's lavish production stars Christopher Biggins as Sarah The Cook and Basil Brush as Alderman Foxwarren! It's the biggest professional panto in the South West, so don't miss it! Boom boom! For bookings, visit Plymouth's Theatre Royal. And down in Dartmouth, you can catch the classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Flavel until 31 December. For tickets, visit the Flavel Arts Centre.
Dame for a laugh
Meanwhile at Exeter's Corn Exchange, you can see Exeter's favourite professional Dame, Steve Bennett, appearing as Widow Twankey in Aladdin, supported by a professional company with years of West End experience. The show runs until 6 January and tickets are available at www.exeter.gov.uk/cornexchange. Also in Exeter, the Barnfield Theatre is hosting the magical story of Sleeping Beauty, presented by the players of ELTC. For tickets, visit www.barnfieldtheatre.org.uk.
If you fancy Beauty and the Beast, visit Sidmouth's Manor Pavilion Theatre, where the pantomime is playing until 5 January. For times and bookings, call 01395 514413.
And finally, for a proper panto treat, head to the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple, for an action-packed version of Robin Hood, complete with stunning new costumes, fantastic live music, a brand new script and the usual comedy mayhem. Journey into the enchanted world of Sherwood Forest with Robin and his motley band of Merry Men as they take on the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham (boo! hiss!), and battle to rescue Maid Marian from his evil clutches… all without laddering their tights! Starring Laura Main of BBC1's Call The Midwife, as Maid Marian, Richard Alan as the lovely-larger-than-life Dame (with a twist!), and Jon Wadey as the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham (last year's Herman the Henchman). The show runs until 5 January; for times and bookings visit www.northdevontheatres.org.uk.
Happy New Year everyone!