Panto casts its box office spell

Steve Royle, Su Pollard and Dan Whiston from the Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs cast
Steve Royle, Su Pollard and Dan Whiston from the Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs cast
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Magic mirror or magic lamp – the result is the same, as the Grand Theatre celebrates a sales boom for its pantomime.

The theatre is this season marking five years of working with UK Productions Ltd on the festive family favourite, as Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs opens tonight.

And the box office has seen a 56 per cent boost for the seasonal special in that time, from 16,000 to 25,000 tickets, with sales for this year’s panto already up more than 15 per cent prior to opening night.

And on the day the figures are beingannounced, The Gazette can exclusively reveal the 2016 pantomime will be Aladdin, as tickets go on sale today.

The announcement marks a full circle of panto tales, as Aladdin was also the first show staged by UK Productions at the Grand in 2010.

Producer Martin Dodd said: “We are delighted the panto goes from strength to strength, which is testament to the great casts, creative teams, fantastic partnership with the team at the Grand Theatre and of course the beautiful theatre itself. I would also like to thank local business and the audience who come back year-after-year in ever greater numbers.”

Snow White, which runs until Sunday, January 3, stars local lad Dan Whiston as the Prince, with sitcom star Su Pollard as the Wicked Queen, and Grand panto stalwart Steve Royle in the funnyman role. Completing the line up are Millie Booth as Snow White and Jamie Steen as Nurse.

Ruth Eastwood, chief executive of the Grand, added: “Pantomime is one of the truly locally celebrated events that we are able to offer the people of Blackpool, Wyre, and Fylde.

“Working with Martin Dodd and his creative team we make a show with the locals in its heart and mind and the continuing and increasing support of our audiences must mean we are getting something right.”

Grand marketing manager Andrew Howard said: “We work all year round on promoting our pantomime.

“The moment we open this year’s, next year’s goes on sale due to the demand and our customers wanting to get the same seats.”