Bear necessities- Panto comes to George Lawton Hall… in May

YOU may think otherwise but a pantomime, like a dog or cat, is not just for Christmas.

That’s why Mossley’s George Lawton Hall is hosting a new production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in May. Oh yes, it is!

Show producer Warren Thomas, 33, is passionate about keeping alive the traditional pantomime, especially bringing this unique “art form” to audiences all year round.

If successful, this mini, two show run on Saturday, May 11 will be the prelude to an extended return to GLH later in the year.

“A lot of other producers think I am mad,” said Blackpool-based Warren, son of a former principal girl and whose nana appeared in pantos at Manchester’s Opera House and Palace Theatre.

“But I have all the scenery and costumes. I can leave it sat there for another six months. Or I can go out and put on a show so audiences realise a pantomime isn’t just seasonal.

“Besides, there is a lot of snobbery around pantos. Some people look down on them yet they are engrained in our culture.

“And they are an art form in themselves. A lot of work goes into staging pantomimes and I am trying to bring them back all year round.

“Musicals have taken over but they don’t celebrate the great British culture quite like a pantomime.

“It’s another myth you can’t go if you haven’t got children. Pantos appeal to everyone from three to 103.

“They are like a chocolate box, there’s something in a pantomime for everyone.

“They were always intended to bring everyone together. The kids laugh at the slapstick while the grown-ups laugh at the double entendres in some of the jokes.

“If people young enough like me don’t keep the tradition going it will end up dying. It’s important to keep the origins alive.

“Every town should have a good pantomime and I am led to believe it’s about 15 years since George Lawton Hall staged its last one.”

Warren is also adamant his six-strong cast plus the “nicest looking here bears in the UK,’ doesn’t need ‘celebrities’ from Big Brother, Towie or Made in Chelsea to boost popularity ratings.

But while new to Tameside, he has engaged the help of Sarah England School of Dance in Stalybridge to provide two troupes of youngsters as part of the ensemble.

To buy tickets visit the website www.ticktsource.co.uk or call the venue on 01457 832223.

Tickets cost £13 for adults and £8 for children. Shows times are 4.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday, May 11.

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