There’s no place like…Helmsley!

by Editorial Team

1812 Theatre Company prepare for their annual Pantomime

This December the 1812 Theatre Company is performing The Wizard of Oz Pantomime at Helmsley Arts Centre (HAC).

The pantomime, written by Alex Jackson and directed by HAC’s Artistic Director Natasha Jones, will play for 10 performances between December 3rd and 11th  and includes a cast of 67 local people aged 5-67, including members of HAC’s 1812 Youth Theatre.

Florrie Stockbridge as Dorothy at Helmsley Arts Centre

Local actor/musician Florrie Stockbridge steps into the sparkly red slippers of Dorothy with regular 1812 actors Joe Gregory as Scarecrow, Oliver Clive as TinMan, Barley Gillespie as Lion and 14 year old Abi Neighbour in the role of Toto. Journalist, author and well known HAC trustee Martin Vander Weyer dons his snazziest frock to bring us the delectably naughty, Aunty Em, Marcella Proud has perfected her nastiest cackle for her role as the Wicked Witch while Amy Gregory brings us the magical warmth of Glinda the Good.

Choreographer Ashton Danby has worked her magic to ensure some magnificent musical numbers for audiences to enjoy and  a wonderful team of volunteers have been busy sewing up a storm of fabulously glittery costumes to wow the crowds.

The set promises a magic fairytale feel, built to fit HAC’s intimate stage by Peter Ives and Michael Goslin and John Lister.

Expect The Wizard of Oz but with a panto twist, an assortment of musical and pop music, and lots of silliness!

Director and producer Natasha Jones said: “There’s something so magical about Panto. Whether you’re involved in the Panto family, working hard to create an energetic, fabulous and entertaining show or if you’re bringing the family along for a truly festive and fun day out, there’s something for everyone and a true sense of community spirit.

“The cast and crew are all working so hard to ensure a magical panto to entertain all the family and we can’t wait to bring some festive cheer to Helmsley,”

HAC’s Panto involves over 100 people from the local community and takes a huge amount of hard work, time and dedication to bring it to life. The income raised from the 1812 Panto helps towards keeping Helmsley Arts Centre’s doors open and a full programme of events and activities throughout the year. HAC relies heavily on fundraising to keep active for their community and every seat sold really does make a difference.

1812 member, Helmsley Primary School advanced TA and 1812 Youth Theatre leader Amy Gregory is looking forward to bringing the enchanting role of Glinda to the stage and says ‘1812 pantomime is a fantastic experience and an honour to be part of. The pantomime has a close and supportive family atmosphere and for many is a place where they can leave the hustle and bustle of life outside. I am lucky enough to share it with my husband and step-daughter which makes it even more special. For me, it is the start of christmas!’

Nearly 2000 people watched HAC’s Panto in 2021 and tickets for this year are already flying out so don’t forget to get in quick and get yours from www.helmsleyarts.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01439 771700.

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