Panto drama happening in York!

News broke earlier this year that Berwick Kaler and chums would not be returning to the York Theatre Royal panto in 2020.

But, not to be defeated, Kaler and his panto pals are taking their Wagon Wheels and bizarre in-jokes elsewhere and heading to the Grand Opera House!

Berwick Kaler has been involved performing, writing and directing the York Theatre Royal panto for over 40 years and apparently local audiences love him. I saw the panto last year, which admittedly didn’t star Kaler but was written by him, and just didn’t understand the appeal.

Dick Tupin Rides Again will be written and directed by Berwick Kaler, and will also star Berwick along with sidekick Martin Barrass, the villainous David Leonard, Yorkshire’s longest-serving Principal Girl Suzy Cooper and favourite funny man AJ Powell. I personally will be avoiding the panto like the plaque as I just didn’t enjoy it last time at all – it was difficult to follow and hard to find funny!

This year’s Grand Opera House pantomime will be produced by Qdos Entertainment for the very first time. The world’s biggest pantomime producer also produces my favourite local panto at the Alhambra in Bradford, so they’re bound to be throwing lots of high production quality and snazzy tech at this show to try and make it a success.

Speaking on the partnership, Qdos Entertainment’s Managing Director Michael Harrison said: “We are absolutely delighted to be embarking on an all-new pantomime partnership with our colleagues at the Ambassador Theatre Group, Grand Opera House and, of course, Berwick and the gang. Berwick is an undeniable master in the world of pantomime, with his own inimitable style and approach and we are delighted to be working closely with him and the cast to bring back the magic for which they are best-known.”

Speaking on his casting, Berwick Kaler said: “Qdos Entertainment have come to the rescue of the most lauded pantomime in the country having found us a new home at the Grand Opera House in our beloved City of York. To make this a success we need you – the most articulate and loyal audience in the entire country. We can go forth with a management that believes we have enhanced the reputation of a local pantomime that has caught the imagination of young and old, from all walks of life.”

Dick Turpin Rides Again will play at Grand Opera House from Saturday 12th December until Sunday 10th January 2021.

Looks like another unnecessary Berwick Kaler show to me.

I, for one, will be heading to York Theatre Royal’s new pantomime. I trust their Executive team and think they always make great calls when it comes to programming awesome shows for the community.

York Theatre Royal is bringing Cinderella, the most magical pantomime of all, to the stage from 4 December to January 10.

I’m really surprised they’ve chosen to produce a traditional panto rather than a classic family-friendly musical like Leeds Playhouse do. But I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.

The panto promises magical transformations, glittering sets, stunning songs and side-splitting laughs.  It’s being co-produced by Evolution, directed by York Theatre Royal’s Associate Director Juliet Forster and written by Paul Hendy with additional material by David Reed.

York Theatre Royal Executive Director Tom Bird says: “We are over the moon to be creating a spectacular new pantomime for the people of York – one that’s tailor-made for the whole family, while honouring the pantomime traditions that our audiences love so much. Our phenomenal team will give the York Theatre Royal pantomime a new lease of life with a fresh, family-friendly, fun-filled approach to the story of Cinderella. It’s a pantomime for the new decade, set with pride in our amazing city.”

Further creatives and cast for Cinderella will be announced in coming months.

Which panto will you be heading to this year?

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