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Chelmsford Theatre opens doors for 2023 panto

Panto Aaron Crowe
Photo by Aaron Crowe

Chelmsford Theatre’s panto season has launched, with the first performances of Jack and the Beanstalk taking place today.

The production is a re-telling of the traditional English fairytale about the curious and brave Jack, who discovers some magic beans and climbs a larger-than-life beanstalk to find none other than a ferocious giant at the very top.

Panto Aaron Crowe 1
Photo by Aaron Crowe.

Today’s launch follows two weeks of full-on rehearsals during November. The cast and crew have perfected their dances, jokes, lighting, and sound to ensure audiences will leave each performance over the next five weeks with aching smiles and a festive feeling.

Outstanding cast and crew for 2023

Chelmsford Theatre produces its annual panto in house, with the theatre team taking on varied roles such as sound design, and stage production and management. The theatre has produced the show alongside partners, One From The Heart, overseeing the script, music and casting. This year’s show is written by Simon Aylin and directed and choreographed by Ryan-Lee Seagar.

previously announced outstanding cast brings the classic story to life. Joining them on the creative team are Henry Brennan as Musical Director; Ben Kennedy as Musical Supervisor and Arranger; and Mark Wilson as Sound Designer. Matthew Mountier is Lighting Designer; and Sydonie Paterson is Wardrobe Supervisor.

Welcoming audiences to a theatre fit for Chelmsford’s spectacular panto

Chelmsford Theatre exterior at night.  Photographer: Aaron Crowe.
Photo by Aaron Crowe.

The annual pantomime is the biggest event in Chelmsford Theatre’s calendar, and this is the very first panto to take place in the transformed venue, which reopened in January this year following a revamp.

Now, the team at Chelmsford Theatre are delighted to bring the beloved annual tradition back in all its glory for 2023.

Chelmsford City Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Marie Goldman says the return of Chelmsford’s annual panto is an important moment, and thanks audiences for supporting their local theatre this year:

“I know that it has taken such hard work from the Chelmsford Theatre team to get to this moment following the theatre’s refurbishment last year, and the challenges of Covid in previous years. I’m so pleased that we’re finally here, opening the doors for panto in a beautifully transformed theatre that’s fit for such a spectacular show.

“Thank you to all those who have booked tickets to see this brilliant show over the next five weeks. Panto remains a crucial part of the life cycle of local theatre – a good run can set up a theatre for the year ahead. And so, by attending this year’s show, you’re not just enjoying an uplifting day out, you’re also helping to keep your local cultural and entertainment hub running throughout the year.”

Cllr Marie Goldman, Deputy Leader, Chelmsford City Council

Performances selling out as festive season arrives

Performances start today and continue until Sunday 7 January 2024. Relaxed, BSL, and captioned performances also take place on several dates throughout the run. Limited seats remain for some performances.

Panto Aaron Crowe 5
Photo by Aaron Crowe.

Theatre Director, Lee Henderson, is certain that all ages will love this spirited production:

“It takes an entire year to plan, produce, and present our annual panto and the whole team at Chelmsford Theatre have been working so hard behind the scenes to deliver this utterly brilliant production. I’m so delighted to finally be here, welcoming audiences new and returning.

“Panto is such a cherished festive tradition for families, and I’m certain that adults and children alike are going to absolutely adore this two-hour feast for the eyes and ears. It’s been a busy but hilarious two weeks of rehearsals, during which I’ve seen some very cheesy jokes, roof-raising songs, TikTok-worthy choreography, and a rather tall, large (and dare we say, grumpy) member of the cast – I can’t wait for audiences to see the show.”

Lee Henderson, Theatre Director, Chelmsford Theatre

Book your tickets via Chelmsford Theatre’s website. Keep up to date with other shows coming to Chelmsford soon by following the theatre on Facebook and Instagram.

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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.