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Kent Christmas panto guide 2014: Read what's on this festive season at theatres across the county, from Tunbridge Wells to Folkestone


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You may not believe it, but panto season is already looming - oh yes, it is! So if you haven’t bagged yourself a seat at one of the county’s magical pantos this year, check out our full guide to the big - and smaller - shows in Kent this Christmas.

The cast of Aladdin at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre, led by EastEnder Scott Maslen (far left)
The cast of Aladdin at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre, led by EastEnder Scott Maslen (far left)

ANGEL CENTRE, TONBRIDGE
Robin Hood
Friday, December 19 to Saturday, December 20.
The new production of Robin Hood is a true family affair this year. It will be presented by the Tonbridge Lions Club and among the large cast are two local families, some of whom have starring roles. The production team prides itself on utilising local talent in its community pantomimes – and Robin Hood is the latest edition.
Admission: Tickets £12, family of four £35.
Box office: Visit www.tonbridgelions.co.uk or call 01732 359966.

ASSEMBLY HALLS THEATRE, TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Peter Pan
Friday, December 12 to Sunday, January 4.
Flying displays are set to star in Peter Pan this year. Mark Moraghan, from Holby City, will play Captain Hook and Gemma Hunt, from CBeebies Swashbuckle, is Tinker Bell.
Admission: Adults from £21, children from £12.
Box office: Visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk or call 01892 530613.

Pirates of the Curried Bean will be performed at the Astor Theatre, Deal
Pirates of the Curried Bean will be performed at the Astor Theatre, Deal

ASTOR THEATRE, DEAL
Pirates of the Curried Bean
Tuesday, January 6 to Saturday, January 17.
A swashbuckling tale full of ARRGHS is set to star in Deal as pirates invade the Astor Theatre. Pirates of the Curried Bean is based on the race to secure the last curried beans on the planet, with the British and American navies both trying to outwit the fearsome pirates. The organisers have also gained special permission from West End producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh to use one of his songs in the show.
Admission: Tickets £15.
Box office: Visit www.theastor.org or call 01304 370220.

BRITANNIA THEATRE, DICKEN'S WORLD, CHATHAMSleeping Beauty, The Frozen Fairytale Pantomime
Tuesday, December 9 to Sunday, January 4
Stars The Voice finalist Jamie Johnson as the prince, Mr Baffled and Jade from television’s Go!Go!Go! on Nick Jr, alongside Paul Marlon as Blackwand, Steve Wickenden as The Queen, and Ellie Fiore, who won her part after a hunt for a young Kent actress to play Princess Aurora.
Admission: £14.50 for adults and £12.50 for children under 15
Box office: Visit www.sleepingbeautypanto.com

CENTRAL THEATRE, CHATHAM
Aladdin
Thursday, December 11 to Sunday, January 4.
A real rascal – that’s how TV favourite Todd Carty describes his character in this year’s Aladdin panto in Chatham. Todd, made famous as Tucker in Grange Hill and later as Mark Fowler in EastEnders, will play baddy Abanazar and will star alongside pop diva Javine Hylton, as the genie of the ring, and Twist and Pulse from Britain’s Got Talent, as PCs Hip and Hop.
Admission: From £15.
Box office: Visit tickets.medway.gov.uk/thecentraltheatre.aspx call 01634 338338.

Todd Carty stars in Aladdin at Central Theatre, Chatham
Todd Carty stars in Aladdin at Central Theatre, Chatham

CHURCHILL THEATRE, BROMLEY
Sleeping Beauty
Friday, November 28 to Sunday, January 4.
After a successful Cinderella performance last year, the same production team returns for Sleeping Beauty, starring Marc Baylis from ITV’s Coronation Street as the Prince and 1980s pop icon Sonia as the Good Fairy. They will both be joined by Silly Billy played by Jamie Rickers, a familiar face on CITV and Nickelodeon who the younger audience members will certainly recognise.
Admission: From £14.
Box office: Visit www.atgtickets.com/venues/the-churchill-theatre-bromley/ or call 08448 717 620.

DICKENS WORLD, CHATHAM
Sleeping Beauty
Tuesday, December 9 to Sunday, January 4.
Could there be anything more festive than a pantomime at Dickens World? Sleeping Beauty, The Frozen Fairytale Pantomime, runs at the Britannia Theatre and stars The Voice finalist Jamie Johnson as the prince, as well as Mr Baffled and Jade from television’s Go!Go!Go! on Nick Jr. Alongside them will be Paul Marlon as Blackwand, Steve Wickenden as The Queen, and Ellie Fiore, who won her part after a hunt for a young Kent actress to play Princess Aurora.
Admission: £14.50 for adults and £12.50 for children under 15.
Box office: Visit www.sleepingbeautypanto.com or see www.facebook.com/sleepingpanto

HAZLITT THEATRE, MAIDSTONE
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Friday, December 5 to Sunday, January 4.
High octane dance routines and typical slapstick comedy feature in this year’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Ian H Watkins – better known as H from Steps – will lead the cast, joined by panto regular Jimmy Burton Iles as the dame. Fresh from his appearance on BBC show Tumble, H will play Prince Charming alongside Amy Burrows as Snow White.
Admission: From £12.
Box office: Visit www.maidstonepanto.co.uk or call 01622 758611.

KINGS THEATRE, CHATHAMSleeping Beauty and the Timelords
Selected dates between Sunday, December 7 and Sunday, January 25
Join a futuristic twist on the pantomime with Sleeping Beauty and the Time Lords. The adventure through time and space is Spotlites’ professional interactive play for children aged from five to 12. It tells the story of the beautiful princess, Aurora. Despised by a jealous Cyberwitch, she is plunged into a hundred year cryogenic sleep. A prophesy tells that one day, a Time Lord will appear and wake the princess, but the evil Cyberwitch has other ideas.
Admission: Tickets cost 7.50 or £26 for a family ticket.
Box office: Visit www.spotlites.co.uk or call 01634 829468.

LEAS CLIFF HALL, FOLKESTONE
Sleeping Beauty
Tuesday, December 23 to Saturday, January 10.
No big names but a show full of stunning costumes, lavish sets, and even a live orchestra. More than 9,000 tickets were sold for Cinderella last year and 2014’s show promises to be the biggest and best to be held at the venue.
Admission: Tickets from £14.
Box office: Visit www.atgtickets.com/folkestone or call 01303 228600.

MARGATE WINTER GARDENS, MARGATE
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Sunday, December 7 to Monday, December 8.
Margate Operatic Society puts on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, following the success of Aladdin last Christmas. The cast list doesn’t glitter with big names but the amateur production boasts stunning costumes, sets and dazzling dancing.
Admission: Adults £13 on door.
Box office: www.margatewintergardens.co.uk or call 01843 292795.

Scott Maslen appears at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, in Aladdin
Scott Maslen appears at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, in Aladdin

MARLOWE THEATRE, CANTERBURY
Aladdin
Friday, November 28 to Sunday, January 11.
You can take a magic carpet ride to the Far East with a host of stars in Aladdin this year. EastEnder Scott Maslen is Abanazar, TV favourite Mister Maker aka Phil Gallagher plays Wishee Washee, and dame favorite Ben Roddy returns as Widow Twankey. Last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk was seen by more than 90,000 people and the same production crew are back again this time around.
Admission: From £11.
Box office: Visit www.marlowetheatre.com or call 01227 787787.

MEMORIAL THEATRE, BROADSTAIRS
Mother Goose
Monday, December 15 to Monday, December 29.
Mother Goose continues the traditional panto theme at the Memorial Theatre this year, with the same creative team for the past five years returning. Family fun, comedy and live music is promised.
Admission: From £10.50.
Box office: Visit www.sarahthorne-theatrecompany.co.uk or call 01843 863701.

MICK JAGGER CENTRE, DARTFORD
Dick Whittington and His Cat
Friday, December 5, Sunday, December 7, Saturday, December 20 & Monday, December 22 A family panto by the Walk Tall Repertory Company production, suitable for all ages. Promised to be full of laughs, love and 'it's behind you!'
Admission: £10.
Bix office: Visit www.themickjaggercentre.com or call 01322 291100.

ORCHARD THEATRE, DARTFORD
Peter Pan
Friday, December 12 to Saturday, January 3.
Following the sell-out panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Craig Revel Horwood will once again get his hook into the Orchard Theatre’s pantomime. The Strictly Come Dancing judge returns this winter in Peter Pan and will be joined on stage by impressionist Paul Burling and ventriloquist, actor and comedian Dawson Chance.
Admission: From £15.
Box office: Visit www.orchardtheatre.co.uk or call 01322 220000.

Ryan Moloney as Buttons
Ryan Moloney as Buttons

STAG THEATRE, SEVENOAKS
Cinderella
Saturday, December 6 to Sunday, January 4.
Ryan Moloney, aka ‘Toadfish’ from Neighbours, will be travelling half way around the world from his famous Australian set to play Buttons in Cinderella. Ryan will be joined by EastEnders’ Dirty Den Watts – Leslie Grantham – and Coronation Street’s Richard Hillman, Brian Capron. The pair will be donning frocks to play the traditional baddies, the Ugly Sisters.
Admission: Tickets £21.
Box office: Visit www.sevenoakspanto.com or call 01732 450175.

SWALLOWS LEISURE CENTRE, SITTINGBOURNE
Cinderella
Thursday, December 18 to Tuesday, December 23.
The traditional rags to riches tale of Cinderella will be brought to life by last year's X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney as Prince Charming and Reece Douglas – best known as Denzil in BBC show Waterloo Road – as Buttons.

Admission: Tickets £9.50.
Box office: Visit www.swaleleisure.com or call 01795 420420.

THEATRE ROYAL, MARGATE
Beauty and the Beast
Saturday, December 13 to Sunday, December 28.
Featuring spectacular scenery, glittering costumes, special effects and plenty of audience participation, Polka Dot Pantomimes return with Beauty and the Beast for 2014. Heading the cast is popular former EastEnder Ricky Groves, famous for playing mechanic Gary in the BBC soap for nine years, and later appearing on Strictly Come Dancing.
Admission: Tickets £15.
Box office: Visit www.theatreroyalmargate.com or call 01843 292795.

TOWER THEATRE, FOLKESTONE
Jack and the Beanstalk
Friday, December 5 to Saturday, December 20.
A total of 12 performances over three weekends will take centre stage at the Tower Theatre. Jack and the Beanstalk stars Cheryl Baker as the fairy and Mike Nolan as Simple Simon – both stars from Buck’s Fizz – and Johnny Pritchard as Dame Trot.
Admission: From £10, concessions £8.
Box office: Visit www.towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk or call 01303 223925.

UPCHURCH VILLAGE HALL
Scrooge
Thursday, December 4 to Saturday, December 6.
This year’s panto is Scrooge at the village hall and shows start at 7.30pm, with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.
Admission: Tickets £5
Contact Sue and Keith on 01634 234780.

VILLAGE HALL, DETLINGA Christmas Carol
Thursday, November 13 to Saturday, November 15
The Detling Players, in the guise of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's will be putting on their production of A Christmas Carol in Detling Village Hall in November. It will be an evening of festive entertainment for all the family.
Admission: From £10
Box office: Visit www.ticketsource.co.uk or call 07842 169725.

Boyzone's Shane Lynch, left, plays Abanazar at Woodville's Aladdin performance in Gravesend
Boyzone's Shane Lynch, left, plays Abanazar at Woodville's Aladdin performance in Gravesend

WOODVILLE THEATRE, GRAVESEND
Aladdin
Saturday, December 13 to Sunday, January 4.
Boyzone star Shane Lynch is heading the cast at this year’s pantomime at the Woodville. Shane has been a household name for 20 years and will head to Gravesend to play villain Abanazar, joining Jamie Foreman, who played Derek Branning in Eastenders, as the Emperor of China. Ben Ofuedo was the lead singer of 90s pop group Phatts and Small and will play the Genie.
Admission: From £14.
Box office: Visit www.woodville.co.uk or call 08442 439480.

WHITSTABLE PLAYHOUSE
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Tuesday, January 20 to Saturday, January 31.
A funny and sometimes frightening ride is promised as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs takes to the stage in Whitstable. With elements such as a magic mirror, poisoned apple and teddy bears’ picnic, this year’s storybook pantomime has got something for everyone.
Admission: Box office opens Saturday, December 6.
Box office: Visit www.playhousewhitstable.co.uk or call 01227 272042.

If your panto or Christmas production isn’t in our list, email us full details and pictures to whatsoneditor@thekmgroup.co.uk

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