It is Blackpool and Fylde Children Pantomime’s first production in three years after the bi-annual children’s show was disrupted alongside the nation’s theatres and performance arts schools during lockdown.
Despite the many challenges and uncertain times producer Amie Rutherford alongside the company’s voluntary team has been busy working with the 130 young performers aged three to 18 years since last September.
She said the cast couldn’t wait to take to the iconic resort stage, some for their very first time:
She said: “After everything we’ve all been through - even in these last few weeks – we really couldn’t wait for the kids to be back in one room together doing what they love. And with the pantomime they’re a part of the whole process, the whole show.”
“Each and everyone of them have worked so hard and it’s been amazing for us as a team just to see the smiles and energy. We’ve been rehearsing a long time now, lots of hours put in and usually we’re having to remind them to smile for the audience but it’s shining out of them. Seeing how happy they’ve been – they deserve this, they really do.”
The pantomime, has a 112 year history and has seen generations of Fylde families enjoying the arts. It includes young children from all over the resort and is entirely self-funded by the company.
Amie, who runs AVR Performing Arts school based in the studios at the Layton Institute has now produced six productions including Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and Peter Pan said audiences were in for a treat with the latest offering. It is being directed by Cheshire based Nigel Machin and choreographed by Laura Wade.
She added: “Some of the kids started in the shows at four and are now in their teens and it’s so lovely to see growing up through theatre.
“We’ve not done a show for three years now and this latest show is just magic. There’s that extra special thing about this one.
“The company belongs to Blackpool, it’s part of its heritage and for us to be custodians of that for the time we are heading it is something I’m exceptionally proud of. It’s a special moment in our history.”
Beauty and the Beast at the Grand Theatre January 28 and 29 at 7pm, and Saturday 2pm and 7pm.
Tickets from £15.50 https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/blackpool-and-fylde-childrens-pantomime