The Manchester Opera House and First Family Entertainment have pulled out all the stops this year and delivered what is possibly their most spectacular Pantomime ever. This show really has everything from lavish sets, catchy songs, comedy a plenty and a superb cast led by Pantomime debutants Torvill and Dean.

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Parents; if you have not yet chosen which panto to take your children to this Christmas, then look no further than the Little Theatre in Bolton.

This is the best panto I have seen so far this season, and is every bit your absolute traditional family fare. Ok, there was a rather unnecessary 'overture', and it did feel a little long, especially for very young children, but a massive 10 out of 10 for upholding and continuing the tradition. So many Christmas time shows appear every year purporting to be pantomimes, and oh so often am I disappointed at their lack of respect for and bastardisation of this very British institute! Here on the other hand, director Paul Cohen has stayed true to this noble art and produced a panto from out of my childhood. Well done and thank you!

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Barton Theatre Company - Amateur.

Salford Arts Theatre plays host this week to Barton Theatre Company's seasonal offering of the much-loved and probably best known of all pantomimes, Cinderella.

And with dazzling costumes, silly jokes and the usual pantomime banter, this is traditional fayre indeed!

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Blackpool Grand’s Panto is back with a BANG! This year it’s the turn of ‘Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’. Starring the hilarious Su Pollard with top billing alongside the most

talented people of panto­land this is a show you don’t want to miss. The story follows the basis of the Disney 1937 film around The Wicked Queen's drive to become the ‘fairest of them all’ and a delightful and innocent Snow White to find her one true love. There’s also a new addition to the story, Muddles and Nursie create the hilarity and mischief this show deserves.

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And so it was back to the cosy and intimate interior of the Hyde Festival Theatre on the final day of November, for a very warm welcome from the director, chairman and committee of Hyde Little Theatre, who are based there and have been for the past 35 years, for our first Christmas pantomime review, of Cinderella.

A classic story and the most-known and much-loved of all pantomimes, this is extremely well-written by Jim Sperinck, well-performed and well adapted to include local references, current topics and brief but extremely well-suited dances.

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This year’s Pantomime at the Theatre Royal Wakefield is Dick Whittington, and I will admit up front it is not one of my favourite festive offerings. However, when you assemble a cast as talented as the Theatre Royal has my mind has most definitely been changed. This is a joyous piece of theatre aimed at children both young and old.

Setting the scene appearing through a puff of smoke Philippa Hog is Fairy Bowbells and with some clever projections tells the tale of Dick Whittington and his journey to London before being interrupted by a rapping (King) rat. John Currivan playing King Rat from start to finish is ‘down with the kids’ rapping his way through the night as he attempts to cause chaos with the help of his mischief of rats.

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Throughout 2015 I have been to see virtually every production the Oldham Coliseum have staged and never have I been failed to be impressed. Now to round the year off I have seen their crowning glory, Mother Goose!

If you were able to look up traditional pantomime in the dictionary, the definition would be Oldham Coliseum. Everything about this show just screams tradition. There are no fancy special effects (apart from a lightsabre perhaps), no “star names” and no multi million pound sets. You have just got plain and simply, talent and good old fashioned theatre complete with a fair splattering of innuendo.

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Manchester is one of those great cities that offers a spectrum of opportunities to indulge in festive frolics and a good old pantomime may well be one of the best ways to part-take, not just for the youngsters among us but for all ages. Theatre is, after all, a universal language that enhances expression as a performer and viewer.

With so many theatres across the Greater Manchester county, let alone the North West, we couldn’t let the biggest pantomime of the city pass without a mention, or glisten in the spotlight, so here goes…

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It is almost that time of the year again, with Christmas just around the corner and Pantomimes ready to take over theatres across the country. Stealing a march on the masses the Theatre Royal in St Helens have chosen to repeat last year’s success by producing a show in the schools half term week.

Judging by the almost capacity audience on this Sunday evening this year’s offering, The Wizard of Oz seems like a good move. Produced by Regal Entertainment looking around the auditorium and seeing all the flashing toys and excited children, both young and old, you’d believe it was Christmas already.

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The festive season is fast approaching and Pantomimes all over the North are beginning rehearsals.  Here at North West End we have dedicated an entire section to this genre of live entertainment which is the first many of us ever saw in a theatre.

If you have a Pantomime you would like us to promote or review and are based in the North of England please get in touch by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To help us out if you include the following information when emailing: Show dates, Venue, Times, Website link, Facebook page, Twitter account and a JPEG version of your show poster.  We will then do the rest!

 

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