48-hour panto marks Theatre’s 40th birthday!

MHBG-02-08-12 Chipping Norton Theatre
MHBG-02-08-12 Chipping Norton Theatre

The Theatre in Chipping Norton could not celebrate its 40th anniversary without making some tribute to the genre that has been a constant success.

So it is undertaking the silliest feat of daring ever attempted in the history of panto - to write, rehearse and perform a 60-minute pantomime within a single 48-hour period!

Snow White, Aladdin, Puss in Boots, Dick Whittington - all the great stories will unite in a daft and desperately chaotic one-off celebration of all things panto tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.

The internationally famous Chippy panto has been at the heart of The Theatre’s story for the past four decades, with hundreds of thousands of people enjoying its tradition of perfect, proper panto’ (The Times).

This year’s show Jack and the Giant was a particular hit with colourful characters such as Daisy the cow and a talented cast of actors/musicians who kept the audience highly entertained.

With writers Ben Crocker and Simon Brett, composers Peter Ponzen and Rowan Talbot and a cast including some of Chipping Norton’s favourite panto faces all working on the project, there is bound to be an edge of summer madness in the catchy songs, flying sweets and non-stop laughter.

Two Royal Shakespeare Company actors, Tamara and John Malcolm first discovered the building that is now The Theatre in 1968. In 1973, fundraising for the new Theatre began in earnest, and the year was crowned with The Theatre’s first panto, Beauty and the Beast, staged in the nearby town hall.

The Theatre was formally opened in 1975 by Tom Baker, the Dr Who of the time, beginning with a light programme including films and lunchtime Jazz concerts.

Tickets for the panto cost £16 and £12 for under 16s.

The shows take place tomorrow (Saturday) at 4pm and 7pm and Sunday at 2pm and 6pm.

It will be suitable for ages six and over and all proceeds will go to The Theatre’s Forty Year Fund.

The event is generously supported by Savills, Banbury.

More information about The Theatre’s anniversary celebrations and other forthcoming events can be found online at www.chippingnortontheatre.co.uk