News, reviews, features and other information about the unique British theatre institution of the Christmas pantomime, available all year round.

Panto reviews

Jack and the Beanstalk,

Jack and the Beanstalk

Tom Whalley (NS Pantomimes Ltd at The Pantodrome, Times Square, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Jamie Brook and the cast with the RatNav, Bryan Allmän

Dick Whittington

Jamie Smith (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford).
Reviewer: Sheila Connor

John Barrowman as Dick Whittington and Janette Krankie as Jimmy,

Dick Whittington

Alan McHugh, with additional material by The Krankies (Qdos Entertainment at Opera House, Manchester).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Gary Wilmot (Sarah the Cook), Charlie Stemp (Dick Whittington) & Emma Williams (Alice Fitzwarren), Paul Coltas

Dick Whittington

Alan McHugh with additional material by Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin and David McGillivray (Qdos Entertainment at London Palladium).
Reviewer: Simon Sladen

The cast of Mother Goose, Robert Day

Mother Goose

Paul Hendy (Sheffield Theatres and Evolution Productions at Sheffield Lyceum).
Reviewer: Velda Harris

Freya Mawhinney (Dorothy) and Sarah Kearsley (Alfalfa the Wicked Witch of the West), Dave Cooil

The Wizard of Oz

Clare Allen (The Georgian Theatre Royal at The Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, North Yorkshire ).
Reviewer: Helen Brown

Adam Woodyatt as Captain Hook, Pete Dewhirst

Peter Pan

Adapted by Simon Aylin from J M Barrie (Daryl Black with HQ Theatres at Wyvern Theatre, Swindon).
Reviewer: Robin Strapp

Posy Emma Fraser, Savannah Photographic

Beauty and the Beast

Phil Willmott (The Corn Exchange at The Corn Exchange, Newbury).
Reviewer: Robin Strapp

Gareth Hunter (The Sultan), Ray Spencer (Dame Bella Ballcock) and David John Hopper (Arbuthnot),

The Lambton Worm

Ray Spencer and Graham Thompson (The Customs House at The Customs House, South Shields).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

John Savournin as Lord Conniving, William Knight

King Tut - A Pyramid Panto

Script by John Savournin, lyrics and musical arrangements by David Eaton (Charles Court Opera at King's Head Theatre).
Reviewer: Howard Loxton

Lloyd Hollett (Mr Starkey) and Ben Roddy (Mrs Smee) in Peter Pan at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, Paul Clapp

Peter Pan

Paul Hendy (Evolution Productions at Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury).
Reviewer: Simon Sladen

Paul Hartley (Billy Bob), Paul Dunn (Dame Connie Crusoe), Jamie Brown (Robinson Crusoe) and Lauren Waine (Polly Perkins),

Robinson Crusoe

Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley (Gala Theatre at Gala Theatre, Durham).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Darren Hart as Buttons with Clapton in Hackney Empire's Cinderella, Robert Workman


Susie McKenna (Hackney Empire at Hackney Empire).
Reviewer: Simon Sladen

The cast of Cinderella at Greenwich Theatre, Robert Day


Andrew Pollard (Greenwich Theatre at Greenwich Theatre).
Reviewer: Simon Sladen

Shorelle Hepkin as Alice Fitzwarren, Fine Time Fontayne as Sarah Suet, Nina Shadi as Dick Whittington and Miley Rose as Tom the Cat, Joel C Fildes

Dick Whittington

Fine Time Fontayne and Kevin Shaw (Oldham Coliseum Theatre at Oldham Coliseum Theatre).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Panto news

Star leaves but panto goes ahead

NS Pantomimes’ Jack and the Beanstalk goes ahead in Newcastle in spite of star’s departure.

Peter Lathan, 14 December 2017

Pan opens at the Epstein

Peter Pan runs at The Epstein Theatre Liverpool until January 1.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

St Helens Dwarfs extended

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is proving so popular with St Helens audiences that producers have decided to extend its run.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

Aladdin makes a wish in Northampton

Paul Nicholas, Jaymi Hensley, Sheila Ferguson and Kev Orkian are among the cast of Aladdin at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate.

Steve Orme, 01 December 2017

Stafford rocks to Robin Hood panto

Three late-night, adults-only performances of the rock ‘n’ roll panto Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood are to be staged at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre.

Steve Orme, 01 December 2017

Gwen enchants in Derby’s Beauty and the Beast

Derby-born actress Gwen Taylor takes the role of the Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast at Derby Arena—the first panto to be produced at the venue by Little Wolf Entertainment.

Steve Orme, 01 December 2017

John goes from Cherry Orchard to ugly sister

Nottingham Playhouse panto regular John Elkington—who was Lopakhin in the theatre’s The Cherry Orchard—dons his frocks as ugly sister Bella in the Playhouse 2017 panto.

Steve Orme, 25 November 2017

Biggest panto Peter Pan just got bigger

The “world’s biggest pantomime”, Peter Pan—An Awfully BIG Arena Adventure, has added extra performances in both Birmingham and London.

Steve Orme, 18 November 2017

Panto News: November 2017

In his final column of the year, Simon Sladen considers the future of pantomime and the changing nature of pantomime's stock roles.

Simon Sladen, 10 November 2017

Fine Time returns to Oldham panto

Regular panto Dame Fine Time Fontayne returns to the Oldham Coliseum panto this year after an accident during rehearsals forced him to pull out last year.

David Chadderton, 03 November 2017

Regulars return for Nottingham panto Cinderella

Nottingham Playhouse panto regulars John Elkington and Rebecca Little will take to the stage for the theatre’s 2017 panto Cinderella, written and directed as usual by Kenneth Alan Taylor.

Steve Orme, 21 October 2017

Panto News: October 2017

Simon Sladen looks at the ever-evolving pantomime industry in his October update.

Simon Sladen, 06 October 2017

Aladdin panto for Lancaster

A high flying production of Aladdin will entertain audiences at Lancaster’s Dukes theatre.

David Upton, 06 October 2017

Two more join Sleeping Beauty cast

St Helens pantomime Sleeping Beauty announces two new additions, Jess Pritchard and Corey Rumble, to the cast.

David Upton, 01 October 2017

Christmas Customs

Christmas is more than just panto at South Shields’ Customs House.

Peter Lathan, 29 September 2017

More Sunderland panto casting

The final principals’ casting for Sunderland Empire’s panto has been announced.

Peter Lathan, 18 September 2017

Robin Hood cast at Woking

The New Victoria Theatre at Woking has announced that soap star Shane Richie play the title role of this year's pantomime Robin Hood.

Sheila Connor, 14 August 2017

90s star in Peter Pan at Epstein

The cast for the 2017 festive panto Peter Pan, at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre this Christmas includes 90s boyband star Dane Bowers.

David Upton, 06 August 2017

Rebecca joins cast of Mansfield Palace panto

Rebecca Wheatley is to play Vegetable Fairy and Craig Ansell will be Dame Trott in Jack and the Beanstalk at Mansfield Palace Theatre at Christmas 2017.

Steve Orme, 23 July 2017