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Enthusiastic children invited to audition for Chelmsford Theatre panto

Chelmsford Theatre is looking for talented young people to star in this year’s exciting family pantomime, Snow White.

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A classic fairy tale for all ages

One of the most important events in the calendar, Chelmsford Theatre’s annual pantomime is extremely popular with local audiences and very well-attended throughout the festive season. Last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk was a hit, with over 26,000 people visiting across five weeks. This year’s panto will tell the magical fairy tale Snow White. Audiences can expect sassy back-chatting mirrors, evil stepmothers, and kind princes, along with plenty of fun singalongs, silly jokes, and of course the traditional panto dame!

Young Panto Company provides theatre opportunities for children

The Young Panto Company supports young children with aspirations to join the theatre industry. The scheme is run by Chelmsford Theatre in association with One From The Heart, who are co-producing the annual panto again this year, alongside the theatre.

The Young Panto Company provides exciting opportunities for children to work alongside a professional cast and crew, and to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the theatre industry.

Young Panto Company Children 2023 (7)

For this year’s pantomime, the scheme is looking to recruit children to play the Wicked Queen’s henchpeople in Snow White on the main stage of Chelmsford Theatre between Friday 29 November 2024 and Sunday 5 January 2025.

As well as learning about the theatre industry, young performers cast in this year’s panto will also get the opportunity to enhance valuable life skills. One of last year’s cast of young people, Ariel, reflected on her experience being part of the theatre’s panto:

“It’s been so amazing, the cast is like a tight-knit family. We all work very hard, learning vigorous routines on and off stage, stage etiquette, and some life lessons. It’s been so much fun.”

Ariel, 14

Lee Henderson says Chelmsford Theatre is committed to removing cultural barriers and providing theatre opportunities for more people:

“This is a really great opportunity for young people to experience the theatre industry for the first time in a positive, supportive environment.

“Here at Chelmsford Theatre we’re committed to opening up theatre to more people. And that doesn’t just mean welcoming wider audiences. It means removing barriers to culture by affording more opportunities for young people to engage directly with the arts, and our Young Panto Company scheme aims to do exactly that. I hope that many children across Chelmsford will seriously consider applying for this exciting callout.”

Lee Henderson, Theatre Director, Chelmsford Theatre

Children aged 11 to 16 invited to apply

Children aged 11 to 16 and based in Chelmsford or the surrounding areas can apply for the callout. The theatre welcomes diverse applicants with a passion for acting, singing, and dancing. Previous theatre experience is helpful but not essential. Group auditions will take place on 23 June and will involve workshop-style games and activities.

Daryl Back, Producer at One From The Heart, says children of all backgrounds are invited to apply:

"This callout is for everyone and anyone between the ages of 11 and 16. We’d love to see a really diverse mix of children applying for this opportunity, regardless of their background, race or gender. I would ask any young people with an interest in theatre and the arts to apply. Audition spaces are limited, so I’d recommend booking your slot now!"

Daryl Back, Producer, One From The Heart

Rehearsals and performances

If selected, the young performers must be available throughout the whole panto period. Rehearsals for the children will take place during evenings and weekends only for two weeks from Monday 18 November, to allow them to continue attending school during this period.

Following rehearsals, the ten young performers will be split into two groups, with the run of performances divided between the groups. Applicants must be available between Monday 18 November 2024 and Sunday 5 January 2025, and will require advance permission from their school to take time out of lessons in order to take part.

Young Panto Company Children 2023 (3)

Book your festive panto treat now

Snow White and her forest friends glide into Chelmsford from Friday 29 November with all of the ingredients for a fantastic Christmas treat for the whole family. Tickets are selling fast, so make sure to book yours soon in order to secure your favourite seats.

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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.