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Lichfield pantomime is still going ahead - oh yes it is
A Staffordshire pantomime legend is trying out his new frocks and promising local theatre-lovers a massive comedy treat over the forthcoming Christmas period. Sam Rabone will once again be starring as the outrageous panto dame as the Lichfield Garrick theatre seeks to dispel the coronavirus lockdown gloom with a brand new stage production. Sam will be back in a dress and playing the role of Dame Trott in the Garrick's annual seasonal pantomime, which this year is Jack and the Beanstalk. He will also be directing the production, which runs from 18 December to 3 January 2021.
Sam as Dame Trott (centre) with the rest of the cast. Credit Mease Valley Photography
Although the current national lockdown will end on December 2, Covid restrictions will still be in place, As a result, this year's replacement pantomine is called Jack and the Beanstalk: The Bite-Size Panto!. It is a condensed version of the famous fable with a reduced performance of only 75 minutes, no interval, and a cast of just five actors. One of those is Sam who, as Dame Trott, is still seeking the man of 'her' dreams. At the same time, brother and sister Jack and Jackie are tricked by arch-villain, Flesh Creep, and end up climbing a giant beanstalk to a giant's lair. But instead of the magical goose that lays golden eggs, the siblings pick up a monkey named Gordon! The Lichfield Garrick has been staging award-winning Christmas productions for many years and once again has teamed up with the acclaimed Evolution Pantomimes for this year's show.
Dame Trott urges panto fans to book their tickets now. Credit Mease Valley Photography
Panto 'heroine' Sam Rabone says, "I'm so excited to be back at the Garrick for what is going to be a huge treat but with a bite-sized feel! With very few pantomimes in the Midlands, it is amazing to be part of one of the few festive shows that are happening! The Garrick along with Evolution smash it every year, and this year is going to be no different. With audiences chomping at the bit to get in, we cannot wait to entertain them, bring laughter and make it feel like Christmas... all in a COVID-secure way!" The cast is looking forward to returning to the stage, with several having not been able to work since the first lockdown at the end of March, Max Fulham, from CBBC's Crackerjack, will be playing Jack accompanied by his friend Gordon, the talking monkey. The other members of the cast are Victoria McCabe as Jackie, Lorraine Brown as Fairy Sugarsnap, and Tim Hudson as the evil Flesh Creep.
The five-strong cast step outside the theatre. Credit Mease Valley Photography
This year's pantomime is sponsored by A-Plan Insurance, who are running a colouring competition with the chance to win a family ticket. For more information, and to purchase tickets costing £20 for adults and £15 for children, visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com or call the box office on 01543 412121 (opening hours are currently reduced).