WATCH: Behind the scenes at Pinocchio, the Alnwick panto

Here is a chance to see how rehearsals for Pinocchio are coming along, with a performance from Alnwick Academy of Dance and interviews with director Sophie Towers and co-producers Jimmy Dodds and Peter Lewis.

As the Northumberland town gets ready for its own panto season, Gazette reporter Michael Pearson went behind the scenes of the self-penned show by Alnwick Theatre Club.

Members of Alnwick Academy of Dancing, who are starring in Alnwick Theatre Club's Pinocchio.

Members of Alnwick Academy of Dancing, who are starring in Alnwick Theatre Club's Pinocchio.

The thespians are dressing up for what looks like a hilarious evening in great company which sees the return of local theatre stars Jimmy Dodds as Dame Barbina Pasta and Peter Lewis as Jimmy Cricket.

This year is a special treat for the theatregoers of Alnwick as the production has been written by Sophie Towers, whose father and brother, Peter and Nick Lewis, star in the show.

She said it was a special year because the company has been running for more than 65 years.

“This is our 39th panto which is quite a milestone. It says quite a lot about how the club is and how fantastic the people are who are involved,” she said.

Alnwick Theatre Club stage Pinocchio at Alnwick Playhouse.'A right pair! Jimmy Dodds as Barnina Pasta and Peter Lewis as Jimmy Cricket.

Alnwick Theatre Club stage Pinocchio at Alnwick Playhouse.'A right pair! Jimmy Dodds as Barnina Pasta and Peter Lewis as Jimmy Cricket.

The production follows similar lines to the original Disney classic but of course wouldn’t be right without the Alnwick twists to the plot.

“The script itself is primarily based on the original story by Carlo Collodi, but has a few elements from the Disney version. We started coming up with ideas in January and built the script around the typical panto structure – boy meets girl, things go wrong, he tries to make amends and finally gets his girl.”

Performances take place tomorrow (Friday, January 16) at 7.30pm; Saturday, January 17 (2pm and 7.30pm); Wednesday, January 21 (7.30pm); Thursday, January 22 (7.30pm); Friday, January 23 (7.30pm); and Saturday, January 24 (2pm and 7.30pm) .

Tickets for this year’s show – £9, £10 premier or £6 child/student – are available from the Playhouse box office in person, on 01665 510785 or www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk