More than 35,000 fans (including holidaymakers from New Zealand) visit the Waterside panto

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre's pantomime Dick Whittington starring Sam Bailey and Melanie Masson
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre's pantomime Dick Whittington starring Sam Bailey and Melanie Masson

More than 35,000 people visited this year’s pantomime Dick Whittington at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury.

There were 39 performances across three and a half weeks with 200 local people appearing on stage and participating in a dance routine with Andy Collins.

Audience members travelled from far and wide, including Liverpool, Motherwell, Newcastle and Torquay while there were even holidaymakers from New Zealand who had never seen a pantomime before.

This year’s production saw 3500 flashing wands being waved, more than 2000 bags of sweets consumed and 11,000 ice-creams sold.

The show marked X Factor winner Sam Bailey’s pantomime debut, and her performance alongside fellow cast members’ has been highly acclaimed in reviews and customer feedback.

For the first time in the theatre’s history an exciting prize giveaway took place during every performance with 39 winners landing a bundle of prizes courtesy of local businesses including Chiltern Railways, The Works, Rogue Bowling and McDonalds.

This year’s post-show bucket collection was also the most successful in the venue’s history, raising £6759 for the Florence Nightingale Hospice and Wish Upon A Star.

Deputy general manager Simon Maples said: “We are delighted with how well received our sixth family pantomime has been.

“The feedback has been remarkable with many patrons calling it our best to date, and several already on our waiting list to see next year’s show, Aladdin.

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our audiences, digging deep for our post-show bucket collections benefiting two great charities.

“Staff and crew have certainly entered 2016 on a high, and we’re looking forward to a year packed full of world-class productions and family theatre.”