All posts tagged Panto

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a good Panto, and don’t we need to spread plenty of seasonal spirit, fun, and goodwill in December. So we’re delighted to be putting on our Christmas 2020 Panto ‘Sleeping Beauty’, which will run from December 11th to 24th.

Tickets are now on sale for performances up to the 18th inclusive; bear with us for Christmas week, we’ll make an announcement soon, but ticket sales were already high for those performances and we’re still rejigging to keep in line with our social distancing and COVID-19 safety guidelines – your safety and well-being is paramount at all times!

Our will last approximately 1 hour 20 minutes, with no interval: just the right length for a festive family treat, but without the traditional break in between because it would make social distance planning a little tricky.

It’s so sad to see Pantos being cancelled at theatres around the country, and we stand side by side with all the fantastic venues nationwide; before too long we want to see the entertainment industry is thriving once again, as it was, and should be.

And as we said, you’ll all deserve some Christmas cheer, and we’re determined to help deliver it at The Old Savoy, home of The Deco Theatre, and home to top quality family Panto every year.

Again, thank you for your support and goodwill. You’ve been amazing, and we really do appreciate it. For more details about our Panto arrangements: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/christmas-panto-2020-from-team-deco/

Dear Valued Customer,

Firstly, we hope that you and your family continue to remain safe and well during these challenging times.

We want to share our plans for Sleeping Beauty, this year’s Christmas Panto, and always a special time of the year for us.

As you are all more than aware, we will be required to adhere to social distancing measures this year in order to keep our audience, our staff, and our cast, safe.

This will mean that we will have to make some changes in order to ensure that we comply to government guidance as follows:

• The show will last approx. 1 hour 20 mins and there will be no interval, just the right length for a festive family treat but without the break in between, which would make social distance planning a little tricky.

• There will be a smaller cast and less children taking part as everyone needs to be tested, and have individual dressing rooms and we must keep cast and crew safe and well.

• We will ask you to take you and your parties temperature before you leave home and if you or any member of your party are experiencing any symptoms, however mildly, we ask that you stay at home and we will reschedule your visit.

• Your temperature will be taken on arrival at the theatre and providing everything is within the normal range, you will be directed to your seats, there will be no waiting in bar areas.

• Should we record an abnormal temperature we will ask you and your party to return home and we will reschedule your visit once everyone has had a negative test.

• There will be a one-way system throughout the theatre and the lift will only be for use by guests with a disability.

• We ask that no prams or buggy’s are brought into the theatre.

• Face coverings will be required in line with government directives

• There will be a contactless bag search on arrival we therefore also ask that bags are kept to a minimum.

• In order that social distancing can be achieved we will on the busier dates need to increase the number of performances, it maybe that we have to change the time of your booking, and seats numbers but we will, where possible aim to keep you in the same area that you have booked.

• We ask where possible that drinks, snacks, popcorn, hotdogs etc. are pre-purchased and there will be a number of ‘click and collect’ points throughout the theatre.

• In the event of a ‘local lockdown’ or general directive from Government that the show cannot go ahead we will reschedule your visit to a later date in the run if possible or transfer your booking to Panto 2021.

Finally, we also acknowledge that there will be a number of guests that have purchased tickets and are nervous about attending. Please don’t worry – as a gesture of goodwill, we will reschedule your booking or indeed if some of your party wish to attend and others do not, to panto 2021.

At this stage we will transfer you to the same day that you have booked this year, i.e. the Sunday before Christmas, first night, Christmas Eve, etc. Then, if you need to re-jig later we be more than happy to rearrange once we are back to normal in the New Year.

We will be updating our website, Facebook and all other social media platforms as we begin to re-organise the seating arrangements for guests that wish to join us, and we will be in touch with everyone individually, by email or telephone, if there is something we need to speak to you about.

We are working throughout August, to ensure all guests that have pre-booked are rescheduled/re-seated. During this time, we will close the show for new sales and put back on sale on September 1st.

As you can imagine, it is a mammoth task, as 19 of our planned 34 shows are already over our social distancing capacity.

We thank you, as always, for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times. It really is appreciated. Your well-being, and that of our staff and cast, are paramount at all times.

We very much look forward to welcoming you back to The Old Savoy, home of The Deco Theatre.

Kindest Regards

Jill and Kevin Roach, and all at Team Deco. See you soon!

It’s the Easter weekend, but certainly a different one to what we’re used to! We hope you’re all well. To add some cheer to these testing times we’ve extended our CHRISTMAS PANTO EARLY BIRD OFFER until next Tuesday!

Buy your tickets this weekend for Sleeping Beauty (December 10th-31st) and pay just £12.50 for ANY available seat at a performance of your choice. What’s more, you just need to pay a 25% deposit, with the outstanding balance not due until September 1st.

So if you buy four tickets this weekend you’ll pay just £12.50 initially, then the £37.50 balance on September 1st. Book online: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/sleeping-beauty-christmas-2020/, and use the Promo code DEPOSIT.

If you need an accessibility seat, please email admin@thedeco.co.uk with details of what performance you want to book for, and a telephone number, and we’ll sort it.

We might not be able to enjoy Easter as we’d like to this year, but won’t we all be in need of some great family fun this Christmas!!

Christmas might seem a lifetime away at the moment, but let’s all stay positive and look forward, and ahead, to when normality returns. What better to look forward to than a good fun, family Christmas Panto. And if you buy your tickets for Sleeping Beauty (December 10th to 31st) before, and including March 31st, you pay just £12.50 for ANY seat in the house.

In the light of the current crisis and uncertainty, we have set up a deposit scheme, for customers who wish to take advantage of the £12.50 offer but are worried about committing to it with what’s going on at the moment.

It means you can secure your seats, and the special offer price, by paying 20 per cent now, and the balance ‪on Tuesday, September 1st – we will contact you to take the balance. So, if you book, for instance, 4 tickets this week you pay just £10 deposit now, then the £40 bargain price balance on September 1st.

Please book online only, and use promotion code ‘Deposit’. Click on the link to make your booking. The offer is available until, and including March 31st – a week today. https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/sleeping-beauty-christmas-2020/

Former Northampton Girls School student Ellie-Rose Green will be making her professional performing debut in this Christmas’s Deco Theatre Panto, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Ellie Rose, 19, graduated from the acclaimed Italia Conti Academy, in Guilford, this summer, where she studied music and theatre. Since returning home to Northampton she has been working as a dance teacher, and is now counting the days to the Panto’s opening night, on December 6th.

“I’m just so excited to get this opportunity, and so soon after coming home, it’s really exciting,” said Ellie-Rose, who has been passionate about dancing since she took her first steps as a toddler. Indeed, it was as a dancer that she auditioned for a part in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, but Panto director Sam Munday-Webb spotted her potential to have a senior role in the production.

“I actually went along to audition as a senior dancer in the Panto, but Sam looked at my CV, asked me if I could sing, gave me a script to read, and then the opportunity to prove myself,” said Ellie-Rose. “Later that day he rang and offered me the part, which was fantastic.”

Among those who were quick to congratulate her was Charlee Marsh, the owner of the Starlight Musical Theatre and Dance School in Northampton, where Ellie-Rose now teaches on a Saturday, and where she was a student for 11 years, before going off to college in 2016.

“I am so proud of Ellie-Rose I could burst,” said Charlee. “She is such a talented young lady, who we know had a great future ahead of her from the moment she first joined us, when she was five years old; she’s a natural.”

Ellie-Rose, who lives in Abington, comes from more of a sporty family than a theatrical one: her father, Peter, is a well-known former local footballer, and her younger brother, Lewis, 16, is a talented player with Rushden and Diamonds. Her mum, Julie, is a local hairdresser.

She will play the Fairy in the Panto, and line-up alongside Chris Wills, Colin Ridgewell, Vikki Stone, Clive Fletcher, Fern Roach, and Sam Munday-Webb, who is combining the role of ‘Simple Simon’ with directing the show, as he did last year.

“It’s a fantastic cast, and it’s going to be another brilliant Deco Panto,” said Ellie-Rose. “I’m not only looking forward to working with the cast, but learning from them all, too, as I know I will.”

‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, at The Deco, runs from December 6th to 28th, and to see Ellie-Rose and the rest of the cast in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the Deco Theatre in December, you can book tickets online at www.thedeco.co.uk, by telephone on 01604 491005, or by stopping by at The Deco, in Abington Square, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

The multi award-winning comedian and musician Vikki Stone is completing the line-up for this year’s Deco Theatre Panto, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

Vikki will the Panto ‘baddie’ between December 6th and 28th, playing Flesh Creep – a role she’s perfectly suited to, having been nominated twice for ‘Best Baddie’ in the annual British Panto Awards, and is very proud of.

“I absolutely love being the baddie, it’s fantastic fun, and the more I get booed and jeered the more I think I must be doing my job well,” she said. “I have loved Panto since I was a child, and it’s a privilege now for me to be among the performers on stage entertaining the audiences.”

Vikki will be lining up in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ with Deco regulars Colin Ridgewell, Chris Wills, Clive Fletcher and Fern Roach. Ellie-Rose Green makes her professional debut, while Sam Munday-Webb both performs in, and directs the Panto, for the second year.

Said Vikki: “This is my first time at The Deco, but everyone made me so welcome at the photo-call, and I’m really looking forward to being involved in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ – and having established a glowing reputation for the quality of its Pantos over the years, I’m looking forward to being part of another great show at a lovely theatre.”

Vikki, whose credits include is The Now Show on BBC Radio 4, The John Bishop Show on BBC One, and the BBC Proms Podcast, is very much a rising star, and Northampton audiences can see her in her own touring show ‘Song Bird’ at The Derngate on October 19th.

“Northampton is very blessed with its choice of great entertainment venues, and between them there is something for everyone, which is fantastic for local people,” said Vikki, whose show has earned her favourable comparisons to the late, great Victoria Wood.

To book tickets for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at The Deco, go online: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/jack-and-the-beanstalk/ or call the Box Office on 01604 491005.

After the success he had directing last year’s Christmas Panto ‘Cinderella’, Sam Munday Webb will be back at The Deco performing the same role this year, for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

This time, Sam will be concentrating solely on his role as director, having doubled up last year as one of the ‘Ugly Sisters’, forming a superb, and hilarious, double act with Colin Ridgewell. But he wants to dedicate his total attention to putting on a fantastic Panto.

Indeed, The Deco is in perfect hands: Sam is a student of Panto, and an acknowledged expert in the field; he is also the executive producer of the Annual British Panto Awards, which he helped launch four years ago, and which is fast establishing itself as one of the big awards ceremonies of the showbiz calendar.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be working with The Deco again this year,” said Sam, who runs the Brackley Youth Theatre in the town where he lives, and has recently launched a consultancy offering specialist coaching in presentation skills. “The Deco’s a lovely theatre, and it has deservedly established itself as a venue for top class, and affordable, Panto for all the family.

“I absolutely loved every minute of last year’s Panto experience at The Deco; I wanted to create something fresh and modern, but embedded in tradition, and I certainly believe we succeeded.

“The cast were a pleasure to work with, the standard of the talented young singers and dancers supporting us was amazing, the audiences were awesome, the feedback was immense, and the team behind the scenes were fantastic and incredibly supportive.

“I didn’t need to think about it when I was offered the opportunity to do it again,” said Sam. “But this year I thought it best to totally dedicate myself to my duties as a director: playing one of the Ugly Sisters was great fun, and doing it with Colin was a laugh a minute, but I’m going to be totally hands-on behind the scenes.

If anyone knows what makes good Panto, it is Sammy – a Panto fanatic, be it as a performer, director, or a member of the audience, and he has a phenomenal knowledge of its history and tradition.

So as an expert in Panto, what makes a good show?

“For me personally, I love the relationship between audience and performer,” he said. “I love the freedom of interaction with the audience during the show; the off-the-cuff laughs that you can have, and adapting the script throughout the run to make it relevant to issues in the news.

“The camaraderie, banter, and respect among the cast last year made it a pleasure to turn up every day, during rehearsals and the run of the Panto, and if the audience see you all having fun together on stage, and enjoying it as much as they are, then you’re on to a winner.”

For tickets for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at The Deco: www.thedeco.co.uk, or call the Box Office on 01604 491005. Alternatively, call in at The Deco, on Abington Square, between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

For more information about the Panto Awards, visit the website: https://www.pantomimeawards.co.uk/

There’s great children’s entertainment at The Deco still to come this year: from Pinocchio to Pongo’s Party, and the best in Panto, with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ this Easter Holiday to ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at Christmas. You won’t beat The Deco for fantastic children’s entertainment, and fun for all the family.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant gets a spring season of children’s fun underway on March 28th, a fantastic show featuring 21 lovable puppets. Then, from one lovable character to another, as the iconic Basil Brush is among the stars of our Easter Panto, which also features Atomic Kitten’s Kerry Katona, and X-Factor finalist now CBBC presenter Lauren Platt. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is on at The Deco over two days, on the afternoon of April 10th, and the evening of the following day, April 11th.

Two days later, it’s children’s party time at The Deco. You are all invited to join us for Pongo’s Party, hosted by Marty McDonald. But will Pongo’s friends – including Molly Moo the cow, Sheena the sheep, and Sally the scarecrow – remember to be there. We’re sure they will. But what we DO know that the Easter Bunny has promised to make an appearance!

The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio comes to the Deco on May 12th – it’s a brand new, musical adaption of a much-loved classic tale, brought to you by Immersion Theatre, and packed with lots of new songs, audience participation, and plenty of laughter, too.

Then, later in the year, Marty McDonald and friends are back in town for Half-Term fun on October 28th, this time celebrating the arrival of a Toy Machine at the farm. What could possibly go wrong! There’s more awesome Half-Term fun that week with The Snow Queen, on October 30th, a wonderful new adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson classic that inspired Frozen, and brought to life by actors-musicians, illusion and puppets.

All that, and another top-class Christmas Panto with ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ between December 6th and 28th, and even more: join us on December 13th for a brand new show coming to The Deco: Santa’s Christmas Countdown – not just great entertainment, but every child leaves with a present from Santa himself!

The Deco. Children’s entertainment of the highest quality in 2019.

Singer Lydia Lucy is back at The Deco this Christmas, which is great news for everyone who’ve told us how much they enjoyed her Panto performances in Peter Pan last year, and Beauty and the Beast in 2015. And despite a busy schedule, Lydia had no hesitation, she tells us, in accepting the invitation to play Cinderella this Christmas.

Actually, to describe Lydia’s schedule as ‘busy’ is to grossly under-estimate it. Perhaps ‘manic’ is more appropriate, or even ‘non-stop’. The bottom line is this: Lydia works incredibly hard; and such is her flourishing career as a singer and performer, her workload as taken her to many parts of the world this year, as well as all over the UK.

So, by her own admission, appearing in Panto in Northampton throughout December is rare stability. And anyway, she loves being at The Deco. “I really do,” she says. “It’s a wonderful family atmosphere: I love the team behind the scenes who work so hard, and are always so helpful and obliging, I love working with the cast – some familiar faces, but those I hadn’t met before are fab – and the audiences at Deco Pantos are always so much fun, and fantastic to perform to.”

It was after her first Deco Panto appearance in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ that Lydia went off to compete in the TV talent show ‘The Voice’, where she made it through to the Grand Final, and finished third. She made such a big impression to so many, that she has barely had a day off since!

And though she can’t give too much away at the moment, she is already excited about what 2019 holds, with exciting opportunities about to come her way.

“I’d love to say more, but it’s all under wraps at the moment,” said Lydia. “Suffice to say I’m excited, but then I’m very lucky, because I’m doing what I love: singing and performing; it’s so busy, it’s crazy at times, but always great fun.

“But doing Panto is great fun too, and crazy in a different way, because we all have so much fun on and off stage.

“And what’s more, we’ve got another fantastic show lined up, with a great cast, and yet again, an amazingly talented team of young local performers and dancers supporting us, so it’s all very exciting.”

‘Cinderella’ is at The Deco Theatre, Abington Square, from December 7 to 29. For tickets, www.thedeco.co.uk, call the Box Office on 01604 491005, or call by in person between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

Actor Chris Wills returns to The Deco Theatre this Christmas for his second Panto appearance as Prince Charming in Cinderella. He played the role successfully two and a half years ago, when The Deco put on its first Spring Panto, and is not only delighted to be doing it all again, but to be back in Northampton for a second successive year.

“Cinderella is a terrific Panto,” said Chris, who is originally from Wigan, in Lancashire, but now lives and works out of London. “I’m really excited to be back in Northampton, we’ve another great show, a fantastic cast again, and if the audiences are as wonderful as last year, then it’s going to be another wonderful Panto experience.

“The audiences generate a fantastic atmosphere: they make lots of noise, they’re interactive, and they all turn up with the purpose of having fun, and as a performer, that is exactly what we want!”

It has been a busy year for Chris, since he ended last year’s run of ‘Peter Pan’ at The Deco. For much of 2018 he has been on the road, travelling around the UK, Europe, and into Asia, performing in the touring production of Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’.

“It’s been busy, it’s been fun and I’ve really enjoyed myself,” he said. “But it’s been intense, and doing Panto is obviously quite a contrast, though I’m very lucky as an actor to have a wide variety of opportunities.”

Chris will be starring in the Deco Panto alongside Lydia Lucy, Colin Ridgewell, Lee Bright, Clive Fletcher, Fern Roach, and Sammy Webb, who is also directing the show, his first at The Deco. “It’s another fantastic cast, Sam’s a great character on and off stage, and I’m really looking forward to working with him, his knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, Panto is awesome.

“The other thing which always really excites me is the consistently high standard of young, local performers who appear in Deco Panto’s as part of the Chorus, and once again I’m hearing how hard they’re working in preparation.

“Not only that, The Deco have a fantastic support staff behind the scenes; they really look after us and make us welcome; and for all of us, it becomes one big family for a month – and that includes the audiences!”

Chris is a perfect fit for Panto, as much of his work is with Children’s Theatre productions.

“I love it, and I love Panto,” he says. “Great Panto involves a good team, good songs, naff jokes and lots of fun, and that’s what we’ve got, and will be having, in our Cinderella show, and I can’t wait to get started.”

‘Cinderella’ runs at The Deco from December 8 to 30. For tickets: www.thedeco.co.uk, call the Box Office on 01604 491005, or pop by to The Deco, in Abington Square, between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday.

 
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