Panto stars gather in Yarm to launch festive production

The stars of The Princess Alexandra Auditorium pantomime gathered in Yarm High Street to launch this year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Tom Rolfe Productions are stomping back to the Auditorium at Yarm School with their family pantomime this season after such a successful run with Cinderella last Christmas.

Producer, writer and director Tom said: “We’ve certainly got our work cut out to top last year’s festive offering.

“But I’m extremely confident this year’s pantomime is already going to be my biggest and best production yet!

“Once again we’ve got such a strong cast, there’s a few familiar faces back from last year as well as a couple of new additions, including Britain’s Got Talent star impressionist Cal Halbert playing the King and one of the best and most sought-after baddies in the business Joseph Hodgkinson taking on the role of the giant’s wicked henchmen Fleshcreep.”

Tom says he remains so passionate about pantomime, adding: “The genre in general is often snubbed as a cheap and disposable form of entertainment when, in fact, it is one of the most important in my opinion.

“Not only because it is a tradition for a lot of families, but because it helps to keep a lot of theatre doors open throughout the year and can often be a child’s first introduction to live theatre.

“We live in such an ever-evolving world of technology there’s so much more pressure to deliver a fast-moving captivating show that demands kids to put their ipads down and escape for a couple of hours!

“There’s an incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes usually for at least 14 months prior to the pantomime opening, were already designing costumes, props and scenery for next year.

“Without giving too much away, this year’s show is going to include brand new cutting edge lighting design, state-of-the-art projection, incredible pyrotechnics and some incredible magic effects!”

Tickets for this year’s pantomime are already selling fast so early booking is recommended.

Audience members will also have the chance to meet Father Christmas on stage after the pantomime on the Wednesday and Thursday evening performances.

Performances run between Wednesday-Sunday December 18-22 and are available by calling 01642 792587 or at thepaaonline.org