It’s panto time again, oh yes it is, and theatres across the area are gearing up for a busy season.

The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage stages one of the longest runs in the country and this year’s offering is Cinderella.

The panto will begin its lengthy run next Saturday, November 30, the curtain finally coming down on Sunday, January 26.

The show tells the classic story of Cinderella being left at home by the ugliest of sisters, meaning she cannot go to the ball.

But with the help of her Fairy Godmother and some buffoonery from sidekick Buttons, the most exciting night of her life is about to begin.

The cast is led by Gillian Wright, who has just finished her role as Jean Slater in EastEnders. The actress, the winner of a host of awards including this year’s Inside Soap Best TV Actress award, is used to acting on the stage as well. She will play the Fairy Godmother.

Stevenage’s favourite pantomime dame, Paul Laidlaw, is returning to play the Ugly Sister Florabunda. And Dereck Walker will be his Uglier Sister Marjorie.

Scott Cripps hopes to keep audiences laughing throughout as Buttons and West End actress, Rebecca Lisewski, will be Dandini.

Completing the cast are newcomers Imogen Brook as Prince Charming and Rebecca Tyson as Cinderella.

Organisers promise there will be jokes aplenty and some of the messiest slop scene you have ever seen.

Cinderella is brought to you by the same team that presented Robin Hood at the venue last year.

Tickets cost from £15.50 from the box office on 01438 363200 or online at

Performances are at various times during the mornings, afternoons and evenings. For the full list of times see the website or ask at the box office.

The Market Theatre in Hitchin will host two very different shows. From December 6, adults will be able to see the ‘family-unfriendly’ production of Screwge. Tickets are priced at £14.

Children are catered for with matinee performances of Rumpelstiltskin. Tickets cost £9.

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Meanwhile Letchworth GC residents will be treated to a performance of Aladdin from December 27-30 at St Francis’ College, courtesy of SPADS – the Song, Pantomime and Drama Society.

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Meppershall residents will also have the chance to see Sleeping Beauty live on stage at the village hall. The show will play on November 29 and 30 before returning the following weekend on December 6 and 7.