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Professional panto at Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 11:01 13 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:23 05 July 2010

The first professional pantomime in Lowestoft for nearly 50 years has been revealed as Peter Pan.

Casting is under way for the show at the Marina Theatre which will be produced by UK Productions, also responsible for the stage version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

The first professional pantomime in Lowestoft for nearly 50 years has been revealed as Peter Pan.

Casting is under way for the show at the Marina Theatre which will be produced by UK Productions, also responsible for the stage version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Apart from a few touring pantos at the pier, the last resident professional panto to come to Lowestoft was in the winter of 1960-61 at the former Theatre Royal.

Theatre manager Martin Halliday said: “For the past few years our aim has been to bring the highest calibre of entertainment we could to Lowestoft. We have brought in ballet, opera, star names, touring musicals, orchestral music and drama.

“We see the pantomime as the final piece of the jigsaw - especially with regards to how we develop our audiences. One of the most exciting things is the brilliant production company that we have attracted. It's one of the biggest in the UK.”

The professional panto is the latest coup for the theatre, which has recently attracted an impressive line up including comics Jimmy Carr and Ken Dodd and the only performance in Norfolk and Suffolk of Dad's Army. Lee Evans will perform at the venue for two nights in June and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has a residency, playing at the theatre four times a year.

Since 1988 the Lowestoft Players had put on an amateur production over the Christmas period. After extensive discussions between the players and theatre bosses it was announced in April that the players would take to the stage after the run of the professional show, allowing for a bigger-scale production. The players will also put on spring and autumn musicals for at least the next three years.

“It's not all about money, although obviously that's a help. It's also about the profile of the theatre and how we can attract people in the area who have not been catered for before,” said Mr Halliday.

“A pantomime is when a lot of people come to the theatre for the first time, so we're looking to build on that.”

Tickets will go on sale once casting is complete. Peter Pan will run from December 11 to January 4.

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