Doncaster set for festive panto battle

Still from the classic film version of The Railway Children, featuring from left: Sally Thomsett, Jenny Agutter, Gary Warren
Still from the classic film version of The Railway Children, featuring from left: Sally Thomsett, Jenny Agutter, Gary Warren

Doncaster is set for another Christmas pantomime battle - with two festive shows going head to head with each other in the town.

Tickets go on sale today for Peter Pan - the very first pantomine to be staged at Doncaster Racecourse - which will kick off in December.
And new Doncaster venue Cast has also released details of their own seasonal show - Aladdin - which will the see two shows competing against each other for Christmas showgoers.

Last year both the racecourse and Cast announced plans to stage Cinderella - but in the end, only Cast went ahead with its production.

Peter Pan will be presented at Doncaster Racecourse from December 12 to January 4 2015.

David Lee, producer of 19 successful pantomimes at the Civic Theatre will produce Peter Pan, a production he has presented many times before, but this will be the first time the tale will have been presented professionally in Doncaster.

First staged in 1904, Peter Pan has become one of the best-loved fairytales of all time being transferred to the silver screen with Walt Disney’s 1953 cartoon classic and Stephen Spielberg’s inspired movie “Hook”. The great legacy of J. M.Barrie’s story is that a percentage of the ticket price raises funds for The Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The production will be presented in a tensile theatre pavilion provided by world-renowned experts Mobile Structures whose acclaimed venues have housed productions for Disney On Ice, The Glastonbury Festival, London Olympics and later this year a tour by Elton John.

The £250K production includes flying sequences provided by ‘Freedom Flying’, (aerial effect specialists for West End and Broadway productions of Billy Elliott, Mary Poppins and Wicked) a practical waterfall for the Mermaid Lagoon, hi-tech digital projection, beautiful scenery and costumes plus a magical first act finale of the Indian Encampment.

From the golden age of TV sitcoms such as ‘Man About The House’ and the much-loved movie ‘The Railway Children’ heading a first class cast is Sally Thomsett in the role of Mrs Darling.

Hunky Male Dancers provide Captain Hook’s swashbuckling pirates with Civic Theatre comedy favourite Pee Wee Price returning as the loveable and mischievous Smee. Also in keeping with Civic Theatre traditions – the legendary Nellie Stagles Juvenile Dance Troupe will be marking their 21st Anniversary appearance in a David Lee pantomime.

Organisers will be announcing the dates of open auditions in Doncaster to find actors from South Yorkshire to play Wendy, Michael and John Darling and the Lost Boys with further auditions in Yorkshire and London for the roles of Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

Patrons who book and pay before October 15 can make savings of between £2-£4 a seat. Contact 01302 304265 for details.