Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson talks about the venue's panto and a new year 'interval' at the Hub cafe in her latest column.

Pantomime time is well and truly under way at the theatre - and I’m pleased to say Snow White has attracted an avalanche of ticket sales.

Virtually all of our 36 public shows are sold out which is great news after a financially tough year for our theatre.

North Norfolk News: Prince Valiant (Kyle Fraser), Nurse Jolly Jabs (Harry Wyatt), and Snow White (Jemima Scott) grabbing a 'pizza the action' in the SLT pantoPrince Valiant (Kyle Fraser), Nurse Jolly Jabs (Harry Wyatt), and Snow White (Jemima Scott) grabbing a 'pizza the action' in the SLT panto (Image: SLT)

Some of the audience will be proud family members coming to see 26 local youngsters back in the cast after two Covid-limited festive shows. They have brought a gust of extra energy, both to the show, and to our building in the build-up as they rehearsed their routines in the Hub.

Don’t worry they aren’t all going to be on our tiny stage at the same time! There’d be no room for our five professionals.

North Norfolk News: Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie ThompsonSheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson (Image: Richard Batson)

This year’s show is a bit of a hybrid mix between the shorter, reduced-cast pandemic pantos and the traditional full-length ones from those long ago days BC - Before Covid.

We are taking the lessons we learned from the pandemic which is that families like a slightly shorter show and that all pantos do not have to have a full-length version of every pantomime tradition in them - such as the messy slop scenes, 'it’s behind you' ghost routines and audience singalong song sheets.

North Norfolk News: Roving reporter Richard Batson makes a cameo appearance in the panto.Roving reporter Richard Batson makes a cameo appearance in the panto. (Image: SLT)

We are doing bite-sized tasters instead to give a tighter more condensed show.

Some of our professional cast members will be familiar returnees to our stage - but you might also recognise another face at the start of the show.

Former North Norfolk News editor Richard Batson is making a cameo appearance on our video screen - as a roving reporter covering the Snow White royal romance story.

Richard, who is a trustee board member at our theatre tells me it wasn’t as scary as he first feared - because he’s been pretending to a be reporter for years!


And watch out for a link-up with local pizza parlour Stubby’s as we turn one scene into their kitchen as the dame tries her hand at cooking. The cast has been eating plenty of the real thing too, to research their roles.

When the final curtain comes down on December 31 the cast will take a well-earned break - and so will we, as the theatre closes for the whole of January for our revamp of the Hub.

It is necessary to carry out major works including new flooring, ceiling, front porch, relocated box office and installation of energy-efficient heating and lighting.

But our box office will still be operating Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-2 via the stage door on Station Road.

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When the lights go back on in early February we look forward to welcoming people back to a new improved Hub that also helps reduce energy costs and future-proofs us going forward in difficult times.

It’s my last column before Christmas so festive best wishes from me and the theatre team.

And as you start to fill in your shiny new 2023 diaries, here are some dates of early year upcoming shows:

February 12 Phoney Towers - Fawlty Towers tribute; February 16, Norfolk Ghost stories with Neil Storey; February 18, Squirrels drag variety show; February 22-25, A Bunch of Amateurs by Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society.

March 2, To Kill a Mockingbird, the first of a new series of monthly movie matinees featuring classic films; March 4, Abba Sensation; March 12, Spaceman - youth production; March 15, Serenity Prayer, a musical by Lee Vasey; March 23-25, Hobson’s Choice Little Theatre Players.

For tickets and more information, visit