It’s Panto time again… Oh yes it is!

by Editorial Team
Published: Last Updated on

A tale as old as Pantomime and one to have you laughing your Christmas socks off!

This December the 1812 Theatre Company is performing the popular fairy tale Beauty and the Beast at Helmsley Arts Centre. The pantomime, written by Tom Whalley and directed by HAC’s Artistic Director Natasha Jones, will play for 10
performances between the 4th and 12th December and includes an impressive cast of 60 local people including members of HCA’s 1812 Youth Theatre.

Local residents Amy Hughes and Barley Gillespie step into the shoes of Beauty and the Beast while
HAC trustee Martin Vander Weyer dons his snazziest frock to bring us the delectably naughty, Nanny Nightnurse. Choreographer Ashton Danby has worked her magic to ensure some magnificent musical numbers and Costumier Tabitha Grove has been busy sewing up a storm of fabulously glittery costumes to wow the crowds. Helmsley Art Centre’s technical manager, Steve Woolmer, is leading a team of 4 young trainee theatre technicians in creating some panto sized props while creating a lighting design to complement the shining stars on stage. The set design by Eleanor Rose Taylor promises a magic fairytale feel, built to fit HAC’s intimate stage by Peter Ives and Michael Goslin.

Director and producer Natasha Jones says: “It’s been two years since the 1812 performed a Pantomime on HAC’s stage and it’s been so greatly missed by everyone in the community. It’s been a tough time for everyone and welcoming the 1812 back to the stage for rehearsals has been an absolute joy. It really is a Panto family and there’s something so special about bringing together so many 1812 members of different ages and experiences to create something so fun and energetic. 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. 1812 member and half of this year’s comedy duo, Sale and Poivre, Kerrianne Linning says: “Panto for me is about a whole community coming together to create something fun and magical. We call ourselves a panto family as that is exactly how it feels. Whether your panto mum is actually a dapper bearded gentleman in real life matters not!! It’s an escape from reality into a world where anything is possible. I’m very proud to have passed the love of the panto onto my eldest daughter who is taking to the stage for her second time this year and to join one of my best friends in her speaking-part debut. Not to forget my sister who works as part of the backstage crew! Panto was sadly missed last year which is why I have no doubt that this year will be bigger and brighter than ever before!”

Over 1200 people watched HAC’s Panto in 2019 and tickets for this year are already flying out so don’t forget to get in quick and get yours from or call the Box Office on 01439 771700.

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