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Panto season is merely weeks away now so if you haven’t started thinking about whether you fancy a bit of Dick Whittington or Cinderella’s ugly sisters, now’s the time.
When I first moved to the area 8 years ago, there was some godawful local production on in Aylesbury that was so much worse than local am-dram it should have been performed below stage (BOOOOO!). Thankfully, that’s a problem we don’t have any more with the A-list of C-list celebs clamouring to bring their art to the Home Counties. Here’s a round-up of the best in the area for 2012(HURRAY!).
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe, 7 Dec – 5 Jan
Starring: Craig Revel Horwood, Ann Widdecombe.
I can’t imagine this as anything other than a laugh a minute. Ann Widdecombe will deliver her lines like an old pro, and Craig Revel Horwood is, aside from the token panto villain on Strictly, a massively experienced performer, so it should be anything but a dis-aster darling.
£16-24.50. Book tickets
Peter Pan, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury, 8-30 Dec
Starring: Russell Grant, Holly Brewer
If the camp factor was any higher, the scouts would be performing this one. The nation’s favourite astromer and TV presenter turned historian and musical performer is stage gold. And, if you care about such things, there’s a nod to localism with MK’s Top Talent winner Brewer as Wendy. Be aware that Russell won’t be performing on Mon 17 Dec 1.30pm/7pm, or 21 Dec at 1.30.
£10-26. Book tickets
Starring: Louie Spence, Deniece Pearson.
Pineapple Studio‘s Louie Spence minces his way through this most romantic of fairytales with the help of Five Star’s Deniece Pearson. I know, you couldn’t make it up!
£12-27. Book tickets
Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatre Royal, Windsor 5 Dec – 6 Jan
Starring: Britt Eckland, Anita Harris
Britt Eckland as mutton dressed as bad fairy and Anita Harris star in this classic panto. The giant is voiced by none other than Michael Crawford. Ooh Betty!
£13-26. Book tickets
‘The Chippy’ theatre in West Oxfordshire is well-regarded – last year’s panto even managed a couple of national newspaper reviews. This year’s production doesn’t boast any celebs but with David Cameron and friends likely to show up over Christmas some time, odds are the theatre will pull out the stops again.
Tickets from £8.50. Book tickets
Beauty and the Beast, The Hexagon, Reading, 8 Dec 2012 – 6 Jan 2013
Starring: Justin Fletcher, Vicki Michelle
Reading has pulled out the big guns by snaring CBeebies resident superstar Justin Fletcher. Vicki Michelle (Yvette from ‘Allo ‘Allo) is the Enchantress, and… Oh come on, who cares about the rest? It’s Mr Tumble for godsake!
£19.50. Book tickets
Pegasus/Oxford Playhouse/North Wall/Didcot
AND A COUPLE IN LONDON FOR GOOD LUCK…
Aladdin, 02, London, 7 Dec-5 Jan
Starring: Lily Savage
Lily Savage (courtesy of Paul O’Grady) is well in her comfort zone for the biggest panto of the year – literally. 1900 people can watch the TV drag queen in a specially erected theatre in the 02 forecourt. But with top price tickets at £59.50, will you bother to take the kids?
£19.50-59.50. Book tickets
Starring: Lisa Marie Presley, Warwick Davis
The most bizarre casting in modern panto, with Lisa Marie Presley, now well into her forties but looking freakishly teenage in the publicity stills, teams up with Warwick Davis as head dwarf in what could either be vintage or vomit panto.
£10-39.50. Book tickets
Snow White and the Seven Poofs – The Climax!, Green Carnation Cabaret, Leicester Sq, London 4 Dec – 6 Jan
Whatever you do, don’t take the children! This Soho institution is deliciously smutty if you want a bit of panting with your panto. More double entendres than an X-rated Carry On and ‘not for those with a prudish disposition’. Love it!
£18.50. [email protected] Tel: 0208 6631579