The smash-hit panto Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs had fairy tale ticket sales, Regent Theatre bosses revealed today (3rd January).
A big increase in customers for this season’s pantomime saw more than 20,000 people come through the doors at East Anglia’s biggest theatre – an 8% rise from last year.
That led to plenty of boos, hisses and cheers as the all-star cast led by former Atomic Kitten Natasha Hamilton produced what theatre manager Richie Ross called “a show full of magic and mirth”.
Mr Ross said: “We worked closely with producers Enchanted Entertainment to put on what we feel was the best Christmas show here for many years. We received many positive reviews from the media and the public and it was good to see Suffolk and Ipswich welcoming home-grown Snow White, Harriet Bacon.”
Harriet won the “Search For a Star” contest to land the title role in the Regent panto. She was joined on stage by Collabro’s Matt Pagan, X Factor star Stevi Ritchie, Mike “Squeaky” McClean and many others.
Another innovation was to offer a “relaxed performance” show, with no flashing lights or loud bangs, and softer lighting in the theatre along with open doors. This was to help children with autism or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) avoid any stress or anxiety and enjoy a more open environment. The performance, which is open to everyone, will be repeated next year. This was coupled with members of the cast coming on stage at the beginning to say hello to the audience.
Ipswich Borough Council’s Deputy Leader, Bryony Rudkin, hailed the show’s success. “It all comes down to offering a great show and affordable tickets. I want to thank everyone involved – the cast, the producers, the theatre staff and all those people who went along to the panto. We all hope our new star Harriet goes on to establish a great career on the stage.”
She added: “We attracted an audience from all over the county and beyond – some tickets were bought by people living as far away as Wales, Scotland and even Florida – and we have established the Regent panto as an important part of an Ipswich Christmas.”
Don’t forget that Enchanted return to the Regent with regular stars Bobby Davro and Dani Harmer for the Easter panto Peter Pan on 17th April. To book for this one-off afternoon show go to www.ipswichregent.com
And there are a few tickets left for Regent favourite Mike McClean’s special Regent show, Return of the Mac, later this month on 19th January. You can’t keep him – or the laughs – away!