KL.FM Off-Air, by Charles Dennett, December 13, 2016

Photo-call at King's Lynn Corn Exchange for the 2016 Cinderella Pantomime
Panto stars outside the Corn Exchange, Ugly sister Ian Marr leading the cast for this his seventh King's Lynn panto ANL-160919-131737009
Photo-call at King's Lynn Corn Exchange for the 2016 Cinderella Pantomime Panto stars outside the Corn Exchange, Ugly sister Ian Marr leading the cast for this his seventh King's Lynn panto ANL-160919-131737009

So, after just over a week of rehearsals, we’re ready to go. Tomorrow is the day that Cinderella starts its run at the Alive Corn Exchange for 2016.

So far it’s been one hell of an experience! From the first day turning up to meet everyone, feeling like a child on the first day of school, right through til now, I’ve loved every minute. That love and excitement has been tinged with a bit nervousness, I must say, but there’s no turning back now. Tomorrow at 10am, the curtain goes up!

What have we been doing since I last wrote this panto blog? Well, mainly, learning the songs, dancing and putting everything on the stage. For the first week of rehearsals, we were in the Arts Centre, practising, learning out lines, and working out where everyone would move around to on stage.

It was a long and intense week, going from never having met each other before, to acting the full production without our scripts in the space of four days! The culmination was a producers’ run on Sunday, where the big wigs of Jordan Productions (who put the panto on) came to King’s Lynn and made sure we were all on track. To say it was nerve-wracking is an understatement! Particularly, when like me, you haven’t done any acting since school!

Anyway, they were very complimentary, which was good and a big confidence boost.

If you’re coming along to see one of the shows, then I can give you a few sneak peaks of highlights… But forgive me if I don’t give too much away. First, there’s a bit of mechanical scenery which really is magical! If you remember back to Jack and The Beanstalk at the Corn Exchange a few years ago, the beanstalk grew up through the ground and there was a lifesize ogre… Well, it’s even better than that.

Also, the Ugly Sisters have some amazing moments… At one point they perform a medley of music from a well-known female performer. It is, in a word, outrageous.

The songs are brilliant, with a good mix of brand new stuff and some older favourites too, and as ever, the choreography and the dance routines are very very good. I just wish my dancing was up to scratch! My dancing certainly isn’t one of the highlights.

I’ve had a huge amount of fun so far, and I can say that I speak for entire cast and crew when I say that we are desperate to get going and get into the run properly.

If you’ve been to see the panto every year it’s been in King’s Lynn, or if you’ve never been to one before, there is something in it for everyone. If you’re bringing the kids, then they’ll love the songs, the humour and wonder in amazement at how beautiful Cinderella is too. If you are wanting jokes for grown-ups, then they’re in there too, as well as some good old fashioned humour for the grandparents if they want to come as well. There can’t be many things that the entire family can enjoy together any more right across the generations? If you’re coming along, you’re in for a treat.