A record-breaking run has kept panto audiences clamouring for an encore at Middlesbrough Theatre.
Taking the bouquets are the cast and production team of this year’s staging of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs who played to packed houses throughout the run which ended on Sunday (January 8).
They entertained a total audience of 22,085 – that’s 89.46% of the theatre’s capacity, breaking the record set by Peter Pan in 2006.
Gross takings and income also broke records, with nearly 90% more taken at the box office in the final week than in the same week last year.
And theatre bosses hope a cracking line-up for next year’s show will push 2012/13 audiences past the 90% mark.
There’s a treat in store with the confirmation that John Challis (Boycie in Only Fools and Horses) will play Captain Hook in the production of Peter Pan.
John said: “I have played for Tyneside, I’ve played on Wearside, now it’s Teesside’s turn to face ‘The Hook’.
“I am very much looking forward to making it a North East hat trick.”
Peter Pan runs from Friday, December 7, 2012 to Sunday, January 6, 2013 – tickets are on sale now and the box office has taken more than £20,000 in advance bookings, with some performances already sold out.
Middlesbrough Theatre Manager David Lindsey said: “We’ve really built on the success of recent years, and co-producers Richard Chandler and David Vickers of Extravaganza Productions have yet again produced a dazzling show.
“That’s what keeps the audiences coming back for more – they vote with their feet, and they know they’re guaranteed a great show at Middlesbrough Theatre.
“I’m also delighted that we’ve got a performer of the calibre of John Challis lined up for next year’s show.
“I saw him play Captain Hook at Stockport two years ago, so when I heard he was looking to play the part again, I jumped at the opportunity.
“He is a true character actor: his portrayal was the definitive Hook – Middlesbrough audiences are in for an absolute treat.
“It also says a great deal about the standing of Middlesbrough Theatre's pantomime in the theatre business that an actor of his stature should be so keen to perform here.”
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “It’s been a bumper year for Middlesbrough Theatre, which is continuing to rise above the tough economic climate.
“The whole team behind this year’s production have done a fantastic job, and audiences are guaranteed more of the same first class fare next year.”
By phone: Telephone 01642 815181 to buy tickets with any of the major credit/debit cards. An additional charge of £1 will be made to cover postage and handling. Calls are answered in strict rotation.
In person: Call into the Box Office at Middlesbrough Theatre.
In the Town Centre: Tickets can be booked at the Town Hall Box Office on Albert Road – telephone 01642 729729. Town Hall events can also be booked at the Theatre.