Big year for West Norfolk pantomimes

Corn Exchange King's Lynn Panto Photo call with the cast of  Jack & the Beanstalk the 2017 Production.
Corn Exchange King's Lynn Panto Photo call with the cast of Jack & the Beanstalk the 2017 Production.

Oh yes it is! This year’s pantomime at the Alive Corn Exchange was their best attended Christmas production to date.

Jordan Productions’ Jack and the Beanstalk, which was performed daily at the Alive Corn Exchange in Lynn throughout the festive period, brought nearly 20,000 visitors through the doors.

Cast of Hunstanton panto

Cast of Hunstanton panto

Director of culture and communication at the Alive Corn Exchange, Nina McKenna said: “Panto is always one of our favourite times of year. Particular highlights from Jack included our superb giant and the fabulous growing beanstalk.”

Alive Corn Exchange’s Jack Trott was played by Rebecca Lisewski who has performed in many of the pantomimes produced by Jordan Productions nationwide.

Jack’s love interest was the beautiful Princess Jill, Jessica Croll. Jessica performed at the Olivier Awards at the Royal Festival Hall, among many other productions. Magical Fairy Fushia was portrayed by Kayleigh McKnigh.

Flesh Creep, the Giant’s slave, was acted out by Ian Reddington who is best known for his roles as Tricky Dicky in EastEnders and Vernon in Coronation Street.

Dame Trott was played by audience favourite Ian Marr, with his humble boy Simple Simon portrayed by Scott Cripps, who was back by popular demand from last year’s performance of Buttons in Cinderella.

The star cow, Clarabelle, was played by Moosical Daisy Meadows. Also back was KL.FM’s Charles Dennett, who played the Lord Chamberlain. Oh yes he did!

Ms McKenna added: “It was great to see so many happy families enjoying our traditional family panto. We are already looking forward to Sleeping Beauty coming this year.”

A spokesperson from the Alive Corn Exchange said: “This year’s pantomime went fantastically, it was out best year so far financially and nearly 20,000 people attend the performances.

“The relaxed autism friendly and signed performances were very well received, with over 800 people attended.”

They said the Alive Corn Exchange received a number of positive reviews including “absolutely fantastic performance as always. This made our Christmas complete, highly recommended,” and “thank you for a wonderful experience. We will be back again without fail next year.”

And if a dream is a wish your heart makes, then someone’s dream has come true. Hunstanton Princess Theatre’s Cinderella pantomime was said to be the “talk of the town”, after receiving gleaming reviews from its audience.

Director of Hunstanton Princess Theatre, Brian Hallard said: “The pantomime went really well. Sales were up 30 per cent on last year. Our cast and crew were really strong.”

The cast included Helen Farrell as Cinderella, Simon Hollosi as Prince Charming, Hannah Bird as Fairy Godmother, Adam Tremlett as Dandini, Andy Eastwood as Buttons, Mervyn Francis as Baron Hardup, and Seren and Elise Whyte as The Ugly Sisters.

Mr Hallard added: “The pantomime was well received and nobody had anything nasty to say about it. It was the talk of the town.

“We had visitors from Cambridge, Essex and Peterborough. I am really pleased with the result.

“We are already planning the next pantomime. It is going to be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We need to up our game again and make this one a success.”

Lynn News ran a competition to win a VIP experience at the Christmas pantomime. Tara Bowman alongside her husband Christian and their children Joey and Madison enjoyed the festive day out.