Dennis steps up as Elfluent steps down

Published: 21 December 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Dennis (Glen Tounsend) and Elfluent (Wayne Miller)

The replacement for Santa’s Naughty Elf in the “little panto for little people” at the Customs House has been announced.

Taking over from Santa’s Naughty Elf, which Wayne Miller has written, directed and starred in for the last eleven years, will be Dennis, Arbuthnot’s dim-witted cousin from the Arbuthnot and Pals series of shows for children, who will be played, as in the previous shows, by Glen Townsend.

Miller, whose tenure as Elfluent ends on Boxing Day when the final shows will run at 10:00, 12:30 and 2:45, said, “the special thing is seeing Glen as the one who will carry on ‘the little panto for little people’. I’ve known and worked with him for many, many years.

“I first saw him perform at The Customs House in a Performers Stage School show when he was a teenager, so I have seen him mature and turn into a first-class actor, who has a real talent for children’s theatre.

“To be able to pass on the baton to someone I know understands the importance of a little one’s first theatre experience is truly magical.”

“It's such an honour to be taking over the under-sevens show,” Townsend, who trained in musical theatre at the SA Performing Arts Centre in Newcastle, said. “Santa's Naughty Elf has been amazing for the last 11 years and I have a lot of respect for what Wayne has done in that time. I have big shoes to fill.”

Dennis’s First Christmas Adventure is being developed by the same creative team behind the Arbuthnot and Pals shows, with Davey Hopper, who plays Arbuthnot, sharing writing duties with Dale Jewitt, Prince of the North in this year’s main panto at The Customs House, Snow White, which runs until 5 January.

Dennis’s First Christmas Adventure will run from 28 November to 24 December 2020. Tickets, priced £10, are on sale now and will also include a gift from Santa.

Arbuthnot and Pals will return in Arbuthnot and Pals’ Sniffy and Whiffy Adventure, featuring the skunks from Snow White, from 19 February to 21 February, 2020. Tickets, priced £8.50, are on sale now.

And Wayne Miller will make an appearance in the main panto at The Customs House next year, Rapunzel, which will run from 25 November 2020 to 3 January 2021. Tickets, priced from £9.99, are on sale now.

Contact the box office on 0191 454 1234 or book online on the Customs House web site.