The curtain goes up on Sheringham’s panto this weekend. Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson gives an insight into how much work goes in providing Cinders with a happy ending.  

Theatres are always magical places, but as the build-up to panto accelerates there is an extra sprinkle of good fairy dust in the air.  

With rehearsals in full swing ahead of this weekend’s opening show, there’s a real buzz around the theatre. 

North Norfolk News: Prince Charming (Samuel Garrett) and Cinders (Emily Kate Anne)Prince Charming (Samuel Garrett) and Cinders (Emily Kate Anne) (Image: SLT)Wherever you look there are people learning lines, practising dance steps, trying on costumes, or working on vocal harmonies – even in the toilets! 

And, although the cast are the ones in the spotlight when the curtain goes up, the panto is a real team effort involving staff, supportive businesses and even coffee shop customers. 

North Norfolk News: Dame Shane ArmstrongDame Shane Armstrong (Image: SLT)On the props front, our events assistant Zoe Seme has been making a sparkly shoe box for Cinderella’s glass slipper. Commercial manager Hannah Smith had to pop to the shops to buy a toy Humpty Dumpty who appears in the plot. 

We’ve been out getting fruit and veg (plastic ones, making a big vat of toffee pate (come to the show and all will become clear) and turning a man-sized bottle of Febreze fabric freshener into a special deodorant for the ugly sisters! 

North Norfolk News: Zoe Seme making a sparkly shoe boxZoe Seme making a sparkly shoe box (Image: SLT)We were also on the lookout for a prop cereal box. Luckily a customer visiting the Hub had a packet of chocolate Weetos with her, and when cook Jo Church mentioned the packet would be ideal she kindly donated it. 

So the fun has started even before the show opens! 

North Norfolk News: Jo Church sourcing a cereal packet propJo Church sourcing a cereal packet prop (Image: SLT)We’ve also had great support from local businesses – with motor dealers Crayford and Abbs and the Beechwood Hotel at North Walsham backing the show as our spotlight sponsors. And local coach company Marett’s Chariots is helping Cinders get to the ball, as you will discover as the story unfolds.  

We’ve even had help from the other festive entertainment down the road at Cromer, where the pier show’s compere Olly Day and illusionist Danny Hunt provided helpful advice for a magic trick one of the cast will perform.  

North Norfolk News: Rubbin Good adult panto castRubbin Good adult panto cast (Image: SLT)We cannot wait for the show run – from December 15 to January 14 – to see it all come together.  

As we enter 2024, people who don’t have little children but fancy some grown-up panto fun can enjoy, for the first time ever at Sheringham, an adult panto - Rubbin Good.

It is brought to us by the cast of the Robin Hood panto being staged at our “sister theatre” St George’s at Great Yarmouth.  

If you are after some other festive-themed fun in January then St George’s is hosting our successful November farce Season’s Greetings in a show that will raise funds for the Little Theatre. 

So if you missed it here, then enjoy a trip along the coast for the encore showing. But we may well have run out of pumpkins and coaches by then, so you will have to make your own way there. 

It’s my last chance to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us all here at the Little Theatre – and I can promise some exciting developments in 2024. Watch this space.