Rehearsals are well underway for Harrogate’s popular traditional pantomime, which opens at Harrogate Theatre on 30 November and runs until 15 January. Harrogate’s home-grown panto has become an annual tradition for local families at Christmas time.
When Harrogate Theatre first opened in 1900 the programme featured a run of it’s first ever pantomime, Dick Whittington. This year Dick Whittington is back – 116 years later!
Get ready to follow Dick and his magical feline friend as they travel from the heart of Harrogate to the nations capital. Expect all of the usual Harrogate jokes, spectacular scenery, magic and sparkle that makes it a festive family favourite. Every year the show is fresh, the humour is topical and the spectacular set is made to measure by the talented team at Harrogate Theatre Scenic Services, located just down the road from the theatre itself.
Tim Stedman returns this year as Idle Jack for his incredible 17th pantomime at Harrogate. Also on the cast list for 2016 is Katy Dean who has performed in several Harrogate pantomimes over the years, including a stint as Belle in Beauty and the Beast 5 years ago. However in a twist this year Dean will play a baddie – the evil Queen Rat! Howard Chadwick also returns as the extravagant Dame, whilst we welcome newcomers Harriet Harper and Harriett Hare to play the roles of Dick Whittington and Alice Fitzwarren.
2016 marks Phil Lowe’s 10th year as Director of panto and 8th year as co-writer with David Bown.
People always ask how we make the pantomime so unique and memorable year-on-year…. I believe it’s down to the passion from the whole team – hard work and passion right from deciding which panto is next to the closing performance in January. This year we’ve got all the usual sparkle and humour, but it’s new and fresh and there are some real treats and surprises in store. The cast are all on top form and we are so excited about getting this year’s panto on the stage!
As usual the pantomime also offers an opportunity for professional experience to young local dancers. This year the cast is complemented by members of local organisations including Chatsworth Dance Centre, Lynton Academy of Dance and Harrogate Youth Theatre.
With accessibility in mind, 2016 is Harrogate’s third year of relaxed shows. This year’s schedule also includes BSL interpreted performances in addition to three audio described and two captioned shows.
Dick Whittington opens at Harrogate Theatre on Wednesday 30th November 2016 and runs until Sunday 15th January 2017. Tickets can be booked securely online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or through the Box Office on 01423 502116.
Harrogate Theatre has also said that next years panto will be Beauty and the Beast. Tickets will go on sale on 30th November 2016.