Thespians prepare to enthral audiences with 40th pantomime

Alnwick Theatre Club present. Alice's Adventures - A Pantomime. Picture by Michael Pearson
Alnwick Theatre Club present. Alice's Adventures - A Pantomime. Picture by Michael Pearson

With panto season well and truly under way, thespians at Alnwick Theatre Club have been dusting off the cobwebs as they prepare for one extraordinary adventure.

Tickets are now on sale for the group’s 40th annual pantomime of Alice’s Adventures, a take on Alice in Wonderland and you can certainly expect some funny moments – oh yes you can!

Alnwick Theatre Club present. Alice's Adventures - A Pantomime. Picture by Michael Pearson

Alnwick Theatre Club present. Alice's Adventures - A Pantomime. Picture by Michael Pearson

On Monday, the Gazette went to take a look behind the scenes at one of the rehearsals for the upcoming production, and things are beginning to shape up nicely.

With now less than a month until opening night, the group are preparing for a new production written and directed by first-time director Laura Coleman.

This is her inaugural show with the club and said she ‘couldn’t wait’ to get the show on the stage.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed directing this great group of people. Being a first-time director I’m not always sure that I’m going in the right direction, but there’s always someone to offer advice and experience.

Alnwick Theatre Club present. Alice's Adventures - A Pantomime. Picture by Michael Pearson

Alnwick Theatre Club present. Alice's Adventures - A Pantomime. Picture by Michael Pearson

“I think my favourite thing about directing is watching the cast grow and develop their roles, they are doing such a fabulous job and it’s sure to be a great run, even if I do say so myself.”

This year’s offering is Alice’s Adventures, an adaption of Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The story follows young Alice, played by 16-year-old Merryn Hughes, as she finds a glove and decides to return it to the owner, the White Rabbit, but she finds herself in a world of trouble. Then talking plants and animals help Alice to remember who she is and where she’s gone.

Meanwhile, doting friend Jack and mother Verluptua race to find their beloved Alice before the evil Queen of Hearts and the equally unpleasant Duchess of Wonderland chop her head off.

A line-up of famous local faces are returning for the 40th year of pantomimes for the theatre club.

Comedy duo Peter Lewis and Jimmy Dodds take on their usual roles, with the latter playing the dame.

Matt Bush will play the narrator again as the Cheshire Cat, and the eccentric Helen Gee is the Mad Hatter.

The show also has young Liam Cooke at the helm. The 14-year-old enjoyed success earlier in the year at the National Operatic and Dramatic Society awards.

It was for his role as Shane in the club’s production of Brassed Off where he received the award for Best Under-18 In A Lead award from the society.

The group also received an award for the production as a whole, with it being described as “well executed, well cast, very innovative and superb entertainment”.

Alice’s Adventures can be seen at Alnwick Playhouse, from Friday, January 15, until Saturday, January 23.

Tickets for the production are £11, premier, £10 adults, £9 conc, £6 child.

There is also an offer on the first night to by two adult tickets and the first child is free.

For tickets, visit www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk or contact 01665 510785.