A vital ingredient for every successful panto is a Director with a passion for the art form and an eye for all things funny.
With the last three Aylesbury Waterside Theatre pantomimes under his belt, Chris Nelson is returning to work on Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
Chris is a big fan of the local theatre, he said: ‘The Waterside is so impressive, it’s modern and I love the feel of it and the design. I have been hugely lucky to work and direct at some amazing venues, but it feels like home to me’. He is particularly fond of the local audiences too:
‘They're so fun! They give so much energy and really get behind the cast. We are proud to represent Aylesbury and have a panto the region can say is its very own’.
The rehearsal process is an intensive ten day period, Chris says opening night is the most rewarding part: ‘Putting it in front of people and hearing their response is what it’s all about.’ When asked what people can expect from this year’s festive production Chris summarised: ‘Bundles of laughter, brilliant songs, a magical tale and maybe, just maybe, some pots and pans and a bra made for three…!’
Snow White and the 16-strong cast of young panto performers were at annual event, Aylesbury’s Santa Parade on Sunday.
Jenna Innes who plays Snow White enjoyed her first visit to the town: ‘The crowds were incredible! So many smiley faces, the atmosphere was electric!’
The young stars from the show are all aged 7 -11 from surrounding areas including Weston Turville, Turnfurlong and Bedgrove.
They have auditioned for their part, overseen by local dance school, Susan Diane School of Dance (SDSD). Established for 42 years, SDSD hold open auditions inviting children from all over Bucks to join them for the pantomime run.
Successful auditionee Tilly Waters from Aylesbury who attends Turnfurlong School is looking forward to her first performance in a professional pantomime: ‘I can’t wait to perform on the stage to lots of people, and wear the costumes. I’m excited to be part of the team.’
Principal, Susan Diane Friday encourages every individual to be their best and is keen to help students continue to develop their skills both on and off stage after the production: ‘When Panto is over the training continues in our studio where we provide training, fun classes and exciting opportunities to all students with a team of highly qualified teachers. New classes are continuously added to the extensive timetable’.
Festive fun continues with the seven dwarfs attending Festive Family Fun Day in Aylesbury Town Centre on Sunday 10 December.
The event hosted by Aylesbury Town Council will take over Market Square and Friars Square Shopping Centre with plenty of activities and free games including an Andy Collins inspired game based on his ever popular sing-a-long sketch, The 12 Days of Christmas. The dwarfs including Pop, Kip, Soppy, Grouchy, Twitcher, Sneezer and Smiler will be visiting in the morning ahead of the afternoon’s matinee show.