Shrewsbury panto will be a hit - oh yes it will
The greasepaint is on, costumes unpacked and scripts ready for reading - yes, it's that time of year again.
Shrewsbury's panto season launched yesterday and bosses at Theatre Severn are promising this will be the best yet.
Tickets are selling ahead of projections and more than 65 per cent of seats from this year's staging of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have been snapped up.
Telford-born writer Paul Hendy has pulled out all the stops and assembled a cast with more experience than you can shake a stick at.
Amongst those performing are actors who have appeared in Star Wars, Willow, Mary Poppins Returns and Game of Thrones.
And returning for his seventh appearance at Theatre Severn is everyone's favourite Dame, Brad Fitt.
He will be joined on stage Victoria McCabe in the title role, Radio Shropshire's Eric Smith as Herman the Henchman and Joanne Heywood as the Wicked Queen.
Paul, whose company Evolution is producing the show, said: "We have an incredible cast with an incredible 130 pantomimes between them. It is going to be a really great show.
"Shrewsbury is a great town and the theatre is superb. People come back year after year and we want to make the panto better each time. This year there are some real 'wow' moments. I am very proud to produce a show here in Shrewsbury for the seventh year and it is brilliant to be back."
And he promised there would be a surprise in store for audiences with a top secret appearance of a big name who will be starring as The Man in the Mirror. "I can't say anymore," said Paul. "All I will say is that he went to Shrewsbury School, you will have to come along to the show to find out who it is."
Looking forward to getting back in a dress after his appearance last year as Buttons in Cinderella is Brad Fitt. With multiple costume changes, slapstick humour and witty one liners, some would say he is 'Shrewsbury Panto'.
Brad said: "I loved being Buttons last year, there was a lot of pathos to the role but it is very nice to be back in the dress.
"I am looking forward to this year's show and getting back in to it again. I have seen this production of Snow White before so I know what to expect but it will be great to put my stamp on it. It's got a lot of funny moments in it and there are some scenes that I can not wait to do and make my own. It is lovely to be working with Eric, Victoria and Joanne again and to welcome the new names to the cast."
Rehearsals will get underway in mid-November. The show opens on November 29 and runs until January 7.
David Jack, venues and programme manager at the theatre said: "This is a really exciting pantomime for us to stage. Almost two thirds of tickets have already sold and that is with us putting on extra performances just to try and satisfy the demand. This is proving to be an incredibly successful production."
For more details and to book tickets go to www.theatresevern.co.uk or call the box office on 01743 281281.