Pantomime is back – oh yes it is!

After theatres were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we all need a good laugh and now Horncastle Theatre Company is providing a family-friendly, fun-filled show this winter.

Horncastle Theatre Company's 2021 panto Little Red Riding Hood. EMN-211118-144342001
Horncastle Theatre Company's 2021 panto Little Red Riding Hood. EMN-211118-144342001

The company, which has existed in the town since 1973, is preparing to open its doors to the public again for the first time since it suspended all events in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Members have been hard at work over the last few weeks under theatre manager Brian Burbidge, getting the Lion Theatre back into shape with a deep clean and carrying out essential maintenance.

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Following successful auditions, the company is excited to be welcoming audiences back in January for their annual pantomime, Little Red Riding Hood, tickets for which go on sale on Wednesday (December 1), online and at its new box office located at the Lincolnshire Co-op Travel shop in Bridge Street, cash payments only.

This year’s pantomime, written by Isabel Forrester and co-directed by Gail Hinkins, is a cheeky twist on the traditional story of Little Red Riding Hood, with plenty of jokes, songs and slapstick comedy, featuring Chris Liversidge as the Dame, Jon Cooke as the villain Wolfgang, and Rachel Yates as ‘Red’. Chairman of the theatre company, Dominic Hinkins, said: “The company is also overjoyed at the recent reopening of the Red Lion pub by landlords Les and Jan where members always enjoy a warm welcome.

“It’s great to see the lights on and the gates open again.

“The company kept activities going through lockdown by producing radio plays and live-streaming performances on YouTube, but are very happy to be back on the stage where they belong.”

The company is keen to reassure audiences coming to the pantomime about measures being taken to prevent the risk of Covid-19 in the theatre.

Ice creams and programmes can now be pre-ordered for collection on the night of the performance to avoid queues and aid social distancing.

Audiences are also encouraged to pay by card where possible and arrive at the theatre in plenty of time and masks are strongly encouraged.

l Horncastle Theatre Company is always on the look-out for new members – not just actors but volunteers to direct, build and paint sets, sew costumes, or even just sell tickets. To find out more visit the website https://horncastletheatre.co.uk/