SPRING may only just be in the air but planning is already well underway for panto season at the Mansfield Palace Theatre.
Following the runaway success of last year’s box office hit, Peter Pan, the Palace is presenting another sparkling show that promises fun for all the family - Jack and the Beanstalk.
Tickets for the panto are on sale now and are sure to be snapped up thanks to the ‘giant’ of a cast that theatre staff have lined up, led by the former Doctor Who, Colin Baker and Christopher Pizzey, from The Basil Brush Show.
Colin, who played the sixth incarnation of the Doctor in the 1980s, will be playing panto villain Fleshcreep, the giant’s henchman, a role that audiences are sure to love booing.
“In Jack in the Beanstalk the real threat comes from the giant, but it’s quite tricky having a giant on stage so they tend to have a giant’s henchman, which is me,” he said.
Colin has done more than 30 pantomimes during his long and distinguished acting career and having previously appeared as Fleshcreep in Malvern and Bath, is looking forward to reprising the role at the Palace.
“Fleshcreep and I know each other well,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful part. He’s one of those nasty, cowardly, selfish people that we all want to play.”
Colin has never been to Mansfield before and is looking forward to his stay here.
“It’s nice to go somewhere different and I am looking forward to appearing in the pretty little theatre,” he said.
The importance of maintaining the tradition of panto is also something that Colin is well aware of.
“It’s a way of getting people back in the theatre,” he said.
“If we make the panto a good experience for them, they think going to the theatre is not that formal - it’s like the cinema but it is real and if we get it right, they will come back.”
Chris Pizzey will be playing Simple Simon - Jack’s less-than-heroic and accident prone brother.
He said: “I know a lot of people who have ‘done’ panto in Mansfield before and they all say how fantastic the panto audience is there.
“I’m really looking forward to coming along and having lots of panto fun this Christmas!”
l Jack and The Beanstalk runs from Saturday 3rd December until Sunday 8th January.
Tickets are priced from £8.50 and a family ticket from £38, with a Pay Now Save Now offer for tickets booked and paid for by Saturday 3rd September.
After this date, tickets will automatically increase by £1 to the normal ticket price.