For some it is the highlight of the theatre season when the pantomimes begin. From Cinderella to Peter Pan every theatre throws opens its doors for the cold month of December to provide some Christmas festivities.
It may only be July but some of the big name actors and actresses that arrive with pantomimes have already been cast.
The Kings Theatre, Southsea are the first to officially announce some of their leads for their production of Cinderella.
Tracey Shaw, who is most famous for playing Maxine Peacock in Coronation Street, will play the fairy godmother this Christmas with Tom Owen, who playing Baron Hardup and is well recognised for his part in Last Of The Summer Wine.
The role of Cinderella may still be under wraps but Prince Charming is on his way to Portsmouth this December in the form of Gosport born Marcus Patric. Well known as Ben Davis in Hollyoaks and the spin off Hollyoaks: In The City.
Sandra Smith, group bookings and promotions manager for the theatre, said: ‘It is a traditional family pantomime. Everybody from the age of two up to 80 will be able to enjoy it.
‘It will be fun for any age group.’
The production runs from December 7 until January 1 with performances at 2.00pm and 7.00pm.
Tickets cost from £12.50 to £22.50 from (023) 9282 8282 or kings-southsea.com.
Unless that is you’re more interested in Ian Watkins (H from Steps) who is soon to reunite with his fellow band mates in a documentary for SkyLiving, who is playing Potty Pierre in Ferneham Hall’s Beauty And The Beast this Christmas.
The pantomime will run from December 9 until January 1 and until September 30 cheaper tickets are available.
Tickets cost £11.50 to £56 for a family from (01329) 231942 or fernehamhall.co.uk.
Then again Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre have a lot to offer outside of the city with White Christmas starring Aled Jones and Adam Cooper (who consequently has been starring in Chichester’s Singin’ In The Rain this summer) followed by their pantomime Peter Pan which runs from December 9 until January 14.
The production stars Les Dennis (Smee) who is well known from the TV show Family Fortunes, Ben Richards (Captain Hook) who starred in Footballers Wives and Lucy Benjamin (Mrs Darling) who played Phil’s wife Lisa in Eastenders.
Tickets cost £14 to £29.50 from (023) 8071 1811 or mayflower.org.uk.
More pantomime appearances will be announced as Christmas gets closer.