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Panto time is back at Marina

PUBLISHED: 12:19 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:00 05 July 2010

LOWESTOFT'S first professional pantomime for 50 years finally opened last night, with the production set to smash box office records.

After months of preparation and a tight 10-day rehearsal schedule, advanced ticket sales have broken all previously held booking figures for a pantomime at the Marina Theatre.

LOWESTOFT'S first professional pantomime for 50 years finally opened last night, with the production set to smash box office records.

After months of preparation and a tight 10-day rehearsal schedule, advanced ticket sales have broken all previously held booking figures for a pantomime at the Marina Theatre.

And last night manager Martin Halliday called the public support nothing short of phenomenal.

Peter Pan stars Emmerdale's Ken Farrington as the villainous Captain Hook, alongside CITV's Jamie Rickers as Smee and Hollyoaks actress Sarah Jane Buckley as Mrs Darling.

Joining them are Jessica Punch as Peter Pan, Sheryl Lafferty as Wendy, Rebecca Marks as Tiger Lily and Lucy Johnson as Tinkerbell, along with a full supporting cast of dancers and acrobats.

Produced by UK Productions, the company behind a host of major West End and touring shows, audiences are set be taken on a journey of wonder and excitement into the magical world of Neverland in a swashbuckling Christmas adventure.

Speaking before the first dress rehearsal on Wednesday evening Jamie said: “I'm nervous but very excited. There's so much to remember, we go in and out of songs and dances so quickly. I think I've been singing the songs in my sleep.”

Director Terry Morrison said he was delighted with how everything has come together in time, paying tribute to cast, crew and the theatre.

“We have a terrific highly talented cast and rehearsals, while very hard work, have been a great deal of fun, I am sure the enjoyment the entire team are having will come across to the audience as this magical story comes to life”.

The production marks a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the Marina, which in recent years has seen audiences treble as its management has brought in major touring musicals, high profile artistes, professional drama, ballet, opera and the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr Halliday confirmed that the show is proving a huge success. “Advanced sales for the run are already at record levels with audiences coming from across the UK. Having a professional show this year has enabled us to stage performances right across the peak holiday period, including Christmas Eve and Boxing Day - which until now we have been unable to do. It appears the public understand just how important this show is for the future of the Marina and their support has been nothing short of phenomenal.”

Tickets for all performances of Peter Pan are available and start at just £5 each, with concessions available for the over 60s, children and students. Family tickets and generous party rates are also available.

In addition a number of shows have been specially scheduled to allow for school parties and on December 30 there will also be a sign language interpreted performance.

Performances run until January 4. Telephone the Marina box office on 01502 533200.

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