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Popular pantomime continues online - oh yes it does
A popular Midlands pantomime has been forced to go online after tough anti-coronavirus restrictions were extended in the local region. Lichfield Garrick theatre in Staffordshire had hoped to say of Covid-19 "it's behind you!" when planning to stage a bite-size version of seasonal panto favourite, Jack and the Beanstalk, which was due to run from 18 December 2020 to 3 January 2021. But following the Government announcement this week that Lichfield and the surrounding area will remain under tier 3 restrictions until after Christmas, the seasonal pantomime will not be able to go ahead. Theatre-lovers who have booked to see Jack and the Beanstalk, or any other show in December at the theatre, will be contacted by the Box Office in the next few days to see what they would like to do with their ticket. But, in true showbiz style, people can still see their favourite panto with the launch of the all new Lichfield Garrick Online Pantomime.
Performers and staff at the theatre have been working hard to deliver an online pantomime experience which people can watch in the comfort of their own home. A recording has been made of the five-strong cast performing Jack and The Beanstalk: The Bite-Size Panto on stage. And, now that the curtain has been pulled on seeing the show live, people will instead be able to buy tickets to watch it online via the Garrick's website. The show, which again sees the Garrick team up with the acclaimed Evolution Pantomimes, will be available to purchase and stream at home from December 24 until January 10. It will have all its familiar characters, and a couple of not so familiar ones as well. Local legend Sam Rabone will again be donning a dress and playing Dame Trott, as well as directing the production, while Max Fulham, from CBBC's Crackerjack, will be taking on the role of Jack with help from his friend Gordon, the talking monkey. The cast is completed by Victoria McCabe as heroine Jackie, Lorraine Brown as the dazzling Fairy Sugarsnap, and Tim Hudson as the evil Flesh Creep.
The Lichfield Garrick has been forced to remain closed due to Covid-19
Karen Foster, Lichfield Garrick's chief executive, says: "We know how much a family trip to the pantomime means to so many people and so, rather than cancel Christmas, we are moving the show online, allowing the joy of panto silliness to be an antidote
to our virus-blighted year. It's lights, cameras, action and a whole new way of working for the venue, but for a theatre at the heart of its community, we wanted to do everything we could to spread a little festive joy. We may be closed, but this show and this theatre will go on!" Tickets for the online panto, costing £20, are available by visiting www.lichfieldgarrick.com or by calling the box office on 01543 412121