Oh yes it is! Panto season is back upon us in Preston.
This season’s cast is raring to go for their take on Jack and The Beanstalk, to run at the Charter Theatre at Preston Guild Hall from December 12 to January 5.
Written and directed by Lancashire comedian Phil Walker who takes the lead as Jack, the production also stars Linda Nolan as the Fairy, Ian Good as Dame Trott, CBBC star Marvyn Dickinson as villain Fleshcreep and Thornton singer Charlotte Dalton as Jill.
“It’s a fantastic cast of super talented people from showbusiness”, said Phil.
“We have some great routines, one of the best dames in the country, a really good baddie to make the kids boo, Linda who everyone knows and Charlotte, who did a fantastic job as our leading lady last year. We’ve also got great effects, children who danced for us last year are coming back.”
Linda Nolan, of The Nolan Sisters fame, has starred in pantomimes since 1984, but this is her first time playing the Fairy.
She said: “It’s great fun for the kids and I’m looking forward to making her a fiesty fairy. I’ve played principle boy four times in the past, but this time we’ve got a male playing a male role. I think pantomimes have evolved since I first started doing them, kids have got more savvy. There will be lots of songs that they recognise - though I’m sure I’m In The Mood For Dancing will feature somewhere.”
Marvyn Dickinson, from Preston, is best known for CBBC’s Class Dismissed, and is looking forward to performing as the giants evil henchmen Fleshcreep in front of a home crowd.
He said: “I’ve got two young children at home and I know they’re looking forward to seeing daddy playing a baddie on stage.
“It’s a great role and pantomime is exciting as it involves everyone. Often in theatre people just turn up and listen, but with panto there’s a sense of interaction.”
Charlotte Dalton said: “With panto you know what the ending is, so you can relax and enjoy the performance without worrying about where it’s going.”
Ian Good has played pantomime dames for 32 years, and will be wearing 11 different shoes, costumes and wigs during each performance.
He said: “Panto is often the first bit of theatre a child sees and so it has to be magical. It’s the only oral tradition we have now.
“I love it that the whole family gets involved, we have interaction with them, and that Phil has written this especially for a Preston audience.”
For more information or to book, call the box office on 01772 80 44 44 or visit www.prestonguildhall.com