Youngsters get to go behind the scenes as Portsmouth’s Groundlings launches its panto

The Groundlings Theatre in Portsmouth, held their Christmas pantomime launch of Cinderella on Tuesday October 16.'Pictured is, from left, Russell Meyers, Michelle Alexandra and Matt Ian Kelly'Picture: Sarah Standing (180779-6808)
The Groundlings Theatre in Portsmouth, held their Christmas pantomime launch of Cinderella on Tuesday October 16.'Pictured is, from left, Russell Meyers, Michelle Alexandra and Matt Ian Kelly'Picture: Sarah Standing (180779-6808)

Young people from Portsmouth YMCA nursery have received some Christmas magic early - going behind the scenes of Groundlings Theatre's fastest selling panto to date. 

More than 15 young people were able to meet the professional actors who will star in Cinderella this December. The show has already sold out six performances, with ticket sales up more than 130 per cent on last year. 

Richard Stride, artistic director at the theatre, said: 'The young people were able to take part in a range of workshops and meet the cast.

'We aim to be a very social theatre. Even the theatre space itself is social - it's a unique space.

The theatre works with young people from schools and groups across Portsmouth and Hampshire, including dancers from Abstract Dance and Performing Arts Centre in Portsmouth.

More than 70 cast members will bring this year's Christmas pantomime to life. 

After last year's sold-out production of Aladdin, the 200 seat theatre will feature an extended run for Cinderella. 

Richard said: 'We have had people come from all over the world - America, Australia - just to see the panto.

'We aim to be more like a family. We actually have two families who come every year - they met at one of our shows and now they spend Christmas together.' 

Starring as Cinderella is Lara Sas, who has recently finished touring Italy as Rizzo in Grease the Musical.

Cinderalla runs from 1st December to 6th January. 

Ticket prices range are £14 for children and £18 for adults.