Adult panto opens at theatre in Hitchin

The cast of the Market Theatre's Adult Panto Senmeafella - Vicki Serra, Nick Hooton and Lauren Osborn. Picture: Market...

The cast of the Market Theatre's Adult Panto Senmeafella - Vicki Serra, Nick Hooton and Lauren Osborn. Picture: Market Theatre - Credit: The Market Theatre

The Market Theatre in Hitchin is open for Christmas with the venue’s popular annual adult panto kicking off tonight (Friday).

The cast of Market Theatre's Dick Whittington - A virtual Christmas Show - Kelly Bibb, Nick Hooton and Carrie Bunyan.

The cast of Market Theatre's Dick Whittington - A virtual Christmas Show - Kelly Bibb, Nick Hooton and Carrie Bunyan. Picture: The Market Theatre - Credit: The Market Theatre

Following the government’s announcements that Hitchin is in Tier 2, managers at the theatre in Sun Street are delighted to be proceeding with their planned adult panto, Senmeafella – Cinderella with a Twist!

Over the past 24 years the adult panto has become one of the Hitchin venue’s most popular shows and a staple part of many people’s Christmas plans.

Theatre manager Glyn Doggett explained: “We’ve certainly got a cult following and not just in Hitchin.

“Up until last year we were also touring our adult pantos round the UK to over 30 venues.

“This year COVID has put a stop to that, but the show will go on in Hitchin at least.”

The adults only panto was scheduled to open on Wednesday, November 25, but the second lockdown means the show opens tonight – Friday, December 4 at 8pm.

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With performances most nights until the end of December, and then more dates due to be put on sale for January and February 2021, there is plenty of time to catch this fast-paced farcical comedy pantomime.

As well as the adult panto starring Vicki Serra, Nick Hooton and Lauren Osborn, the theatre is also producing an online pantomime for children.

The show, Dick Whittington - A virtual Christmas Show, has been specially filmed and tickets will be on sale via the theatre’s online box office throughout December and beyond.

This stars Kelly Bibb, Nick Hooton and Carrie Bunyan.

Kirk Foster, artistic director, said: “We usually produce a children’s show for touring around primary schools and at our theatre each December.

“This year we have had to cancel that, but we came up with a plan to create a new version of one of our previous shows on camera.

“The uptake from schools around Herts, Beds, Bucks and beyond has been amazing.

“Schools will be able to play the show in their class bubbles and we hope it will provide a little bit of end of term fun.”

Christmas is usually a busy time of the year for theatres throughout the UK with pantomimes and Christmas shows for all the family.

It’s also a time when a high percentage of the yearly income is taken, so with the continued restrictions in place the industry continues to be at risk.

Kirk explained: “We continue to struggle through financially, although we have seen many kind donations through our JustGiving account and people buying tickets to our online shows Nell Gwyn and Too Late, which has been a huge help.

“But we’d love people to visit us over the next few months as you can’t beat live theatre!

“We are very proud of the safe environment and procedures we have put in place here and so if you are able and feel comfortable coming to see us this December, we’d be happy to have you.”

For more information, or to book tickets to all the Market Theatre’s shows, both live and online, visit www.markettheatre.co.uk.

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