Curtain’s up as panto season comes to town

Grizelda, one of the ugly sisters played by Paul Allum, in Dosoc panto Cinderella. Photo: Emma Licen

Grizelda, one of the ugly sisters played by Paul Allum, in Dosoc panto Cinderella. Photo: Emma Licence - Credit: Archant

There's a big bad wolf in Wighton and a couple of ugly sisters in Dereham but that can only mean one thing - pantomime!

It may be a little village near Wells but Wighton's pantomime has a huge reputation and this year promises to live up to expectations when the cast bring Little Red Riding Hood to the village hall this weekend.

Written and directed by Sandra Hopkinson the show starts tomorrow night and runs on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon promising lots of laughs.

The title role is played by Tom Cardale and Sandra says he is proving to be 'a great hit' even though he only took the part three weeks ago when the original actress had to pull out for personal reasons.

'We weren't expecting to have a male lead,' said Sandra. 'But Tom is hilarious. He had a small part in our panto last year and was due to play Rodney in this year's show but when the other girl had to pull out he said he would love to play the part and he is fabulous.'

Sandra has stepped in to play Rodney while Grandma is played by Tricia Bryan and the wolf is portrayed by Nigel Shakleford. The performances tomorrow and Saturday start at 7.30pm at Wighton village hall and on Sunday at 3pm. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £3 for children over four from Sandra on 01328 821502 or Margaret on 01328 820511 or on the door.

If you miss it at Wighton the cast have been asked to perform again at Binham village hall on January 10.

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Big on laughs an imaginative new version of the classic Cinderella, which has won numerous awards, comes to Dereham's Memorial Hall courtesy of Dereham Theatre Company from December 27 to January 3.

When her father, the Baron, marries into money (or so he thinks), Cinderella finds herself at the mercy of her new step-mother and her two ugly step-sisters, who reduce her to a life of drudgery and toil. Her only friend is Buttons, Hardship Hall's endearing but slightly dim page boy. Meanwhile Prince Charming intends to throw a grand ball to find a wife. Could a chance meeting in the forest between him and Cinderella be the start of something beautiful? Or will the Ugly Sisters scupper her chances of going to the ball?

With loads of originality, audience participation, slapstick routines and traditional business, this superb production runs for five matinees and three evening performances - Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 matinee only 2.30pm , Monday 29 no performance, Tuesday 30 evening only 7.30pm, Wednesday 31 matinee, Thursday 1 matinee, Friday 2 evening, Saturday 3 matinee and evening performances.

There is also a children's fancy dress competition - Princes and Princesses - which will be held at every performance.

To book contact The Little Gallery on 01362 690969 or go to the online booking site