A BRAND new panto experience is coming to Weymouth this year – oh yes it is!
For almost 20 years Weymouth’s annual panto has been produced by Spillers’ Pantomimes but this year’s show – Jack and the Beanstalk – is being brought to the stage by Kent-based Magic Beans Pantomimes.
The company, which is also running a festive show in Sevenoaks, is run by self-proclaimed ‘panto geeks’ Jamie Alexander Wilson and Simon Cossons and they are promising to bring a fabulous show to Weymouth.
Jamie, who has worked in the entertainment business since he was 17, said: “We are really excited to be bringing the show to Weymouth. It’s a traditional fairy tale and extremely popular and it is 10 or 11 years since it was last performed at the Pavilion.
“We have a reputation for high production values, beautiful sets and brand new costumes. We will also be bringing a live band with a brass section and a script especially written for the cast, all things that wrap around the production to make it something really special.”
The stars of this year’s show are Lynne McGranger, who has played Irene in Home and Away for 20 years, Andy Abraham ‘the singing dustman’ who came second in the X Factor in 2006 and pop star Anna Kumble who found fame in the 1990s under the stage name Lolly.
Two stars are as yet uncast – the lead roles of Jack and Princess Apricot. These are open to anyone over the age of 16 with acting and singing ability and will be cast after a series of ‘panto factor’ auditions that will be filmed and screened on the Magic Beans website. Further details will be announced nearer the time.
Jamie said: “We are delighted with the cast because we want the best quality show possible. Some shows just pick a random soap star and hope they will fill the seats but if they don’t have panto experience it doesn’t work and people won’t go back the next year.
“Our cast is fabulous. Lynne, who will play the bad Fairy Fleshcreep, has done panto for years and I have worked with her before, Andy plays the King and is an extremely able singer and performer and Anna is known for her amazing performances.
“I think it is the strongest cast that Weymouth has seen for some time.”
As well as the panto at the Pavilion, Magic Beans will also be touring primary schools in the area with a lively educational show teaching children bout the history of pantomime.
James explained: “The educational outreach programme is an important part of the show experience. We take members of the cast round to primary schools, for free, for an interactive, fun show that explains the history of pantomime.
Jack and the Beanstalk is at Weymouth pavilion from December 15 to January 6, 2013.