Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Pantoland Breaks All Records"

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Pantoland Breaks All Records"

Article excerpt

Byline: By Keith Newton

It's behind you - still. Yes, we may already be zipping through January, but there are still some pantomimes to go and see.

Aladdin at the Forum Theatre in Billingham goes on until Sunday and Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Civic in Darlington presses on until a week on Sunday.

"Goldilocks is the funniest panto we have ever had here," says Darlington's performing arts officer, Lynda Winstanley.

"As a company, we are enjoying it," says Steve Luck, the theatre's former Press officer who this year finds himself on stage starring as Dame Gertie Gemmell.

"Lisa Riley who plays the Ring Mistress is the funniest woman I have ever met and if anyone has any ideas on how we can make the last week or so go with an extra big bang, let us know. We are up for anything."

The enduring popularity of pantomimes is proved by the pair plus Snow White and trhe Seven Dwarfs at Middlesbrough.

Aladdin with Duncan Norvelle as Wishy Washy, has beaten all Forum box-office records and become the theatre's highest earning panto ever.

The previous record was held by Keith Harris and Orville who appeared in a different version of Goldilocks last year.

Duncan is particularly delighted as this is his first ever pantomime.

"It's a fantastic achievement," says theatre manager, Derek Cooper, who reveals the record was passed two weeks ago so the new one can be pushed to spectacular heights over the last few days.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the Press who gave it such fantastic reviews and in particular Goffy and his team from Century Radio, who voted it 'Best panto in the North'," adds Derek.

Aladdin also stars Johnny Leeze (Ned Glover from Emmerdale) and Jonathon Owen (Heartbeat). For remaining tickets, call 01642 552663.

* The next Forum panto in eleven months will be Snow White and trhe Seven Dwarfs; while the Civic will be flying high again with Peter Pan.

Middlesbrough Theatre's final pantomime figures reveal that their version of Snow White played to 20,376 people over the course of its run. …

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