The Suffolk panto guide for Christmas 2021

The Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular returns to Snape Maltings Concert Hall this year

The Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular returns to Snape Maltings Concert Hall this year - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

One of the great things about the traditional Christmas pantomime is the fact that they are always topical. If ‘shortages’ are the buzz word of the moment then pantos have got their own ticket supply issues arising from last year’s pandemic cancellations.

Tickets for 2021 pantos are going to disappear like a wicked queen in a pyrotechnic flash and audiences who want to enjoy some sparkling Christmas madness will need to get in quick. Because of the pandemic, virtually every theatre was forced to cancel or curtail their panto last year and as a result have carried over last year’s ticket sales over to this year – which means that many performances are already half full before any tickets have gone on sale.

Ticket sales are now open for the following Suffolk pantos

Jack & the Beanstalk, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto by Peter Rowe, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, November 25 – January 8, 2022
The legendary New Wolsey rock ‘n’ roll panto is back better than ever before with live-streaming as an option. Peter Rowe’s ingenious script will once again include interactions with audiences at home, participation and shout-outs, and the chance to supply a prop during the show.

Jack and the Beanstalk at the New Wolsey Theatre in 2010

Jack and the Beanstalk at the New Wolsey Theatre in 2010. The rock'n'roll panto returns this Christmas both live on stage and live streamed - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

Brought to you by the famous New Wolsey company of multi-skilled actor musicians, it’s the best of pantomime mixed with the best songs from the classic rock and pop playlist, all played live, including Hit The Road Jack, Lady Marmalade, Get Offa My Cloud, Go Your Own Way and many, many more. This glorious mash up of pantomime and pop concert is a festive treat for all the family.

In person tickets start from £12. Tickets can be booked online

From Rushmere With Love, by Brendan Murray, Eastern Angles Christmas Show, December 9 - January 8, 2022
There’s no need to be shaken nor stirred by joining audiences to experience this James Bond spoof as live streamed performances are also available which means the madness of the Eastern Angles Christmas Show can be brought into your living room.

A rare breed of turkey has been sighted in Ipswich and members of the local RSPB have been disappearing. Join the curiously named James Boond, special agent 006, on his haphazard mission across Ipswich as he tries to solve the mystery of the disappearing twitchers, while crossing mysterious local turkey farmers and nuclear weapons experts on his way.  


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Filled with original live music, tense action sequences and family fun that promises to leave you with a smile on your face.  Tickets will be on sale shortly.

Cinderella, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, November 26 – January 16, 2022
Cinderella is a traditional family pantomime which begins with a busy day in Bury. On Butter Market Square, Buttons the barrow boy flogs his fruit. On Hardwick Heath, Prince Charming frets over his future. And up at Sickworth House, Kylie and Miley are making Cinderella’s life a misery. 

Chris Clarkson as Dame Winona Whittington. Picture: TONY KELLY

Chris Clarkson as Dame Winona Whittington. Chris is returning to Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds for the fifth time this year and is sure to delight audiences - Credit: Tony Kelly

Returning for the fifth year, Chris Clarkson will be playing the gossipy, girly Kylie Grizzle, one of Cinderella’s ugly step-sisters. Chris has become a firm audience favourite.

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Alongside Chris, Craig Painting fills the rather large and smelly shoes of wannabe pop star and ugly sister, Mylie Grizzle. Becky Sanneh, is in the title role of Cinderella.  Playing the pushy showbiz mum and step-mum, Grizelda Grizzle is Suffolk lass Beth Tuckey. As the lovable Buttons, the gregarious greengrocer and Cinderella’s best friend is Howie Michaels.

Serious-minded and strait-laced Dolores Van-Dini is brought to life by Felicity Houlbrooke - a woman with a burning passion for Prince Roger played by Samuel Knights - a young man in search of his own path but too self-involved to notice the affections of Miss Vandini. 

No Cinderella pantomime is complete without a fairy godmother and this warm, kind-hearted character is played by Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah.  

The professional cast will be supported by a cast of local young performers aged 10 – 18 years old. 

Tickets are on sale at the Box Office, call 01284 769505, book online or visit the theatre in person.

Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular, Snape Maltings, December 3-12, 2021
Festive magic is back at Snape Maltings after a two-year absence, with the all-singing, all dancing Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular.  The cast of 100 is ready to raise the roof with their unique blend of high energy music and dance numbers.

The Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular returns to Snape Maltings Concert Hall in December

The Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular returns to Snape Maltings Concert Hall in December - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

With a live orchestra, a new stage set and stunning costumes, directors Lucy Allen and Oliver Brett promise: "Everyone will have a warm festive glow after celebrating Christmas with us at Snape. The show is packed with surprises and favourites like 80 toy soldiers, our traditional finale kicks line and a glorious Nativity scene. It's a family favourite in Suffolk.” 

Tickets start from £15. Book 01728 687110 or online 

Aladdin, Ipswich Regent Theatre, December 17 - January 2, 2022
The Regent’s fun family pantomime is back, starring X-Factor runner-up Marcus Collins as Genie, and back by popular demand Mike ‘Squeaky’ McClean as Wishee Washee. Audiences are invited to laugh at Dotty Widow Twankey, boo and hiss the evil Abanaza and cheer on the hero Aladdin who, with one rub of his magic lamp, meets the most amazing Genie.

Mike McClean returns to the Ipswich Regent for his highly anticipated annual pantomime performances

Mike McClean returns to the Ipswich Regent for his highly anticipated annual pantomime performances - Credit: Paul Clapp

Tickets are available online

Aladdin, Colchester Mercury, November 27 – January 16, 2022
Written by Andrew Pollard and directed by Ryan McBryde, the team that brought you the award winning Cinderella, audiences are invited to journey to far distant shores where the penniless Aladdin dreams of winning the heart of the rebellious Princess Jasmine.

When he is tempted by an evil sorcerer with the promise of untold riches, our young hero finds himself trapped in the Cave of Wonders with nothing but his wits and a battered old lamp. Little does he know that it’s contents will change his life for ever.

Antony Stuart Hicks as The Dame in the Colchester Mercury pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk Photos:

Antony Stuart Hicks as The Dame in the Colchester Mercury pantomime. Antony is back this year alongside Dale Superville - Credit: Scott Rylander

Mercury favourites and Great British Pantomime award-winning ugly sisters, Antony Stuart-Hicks and Dale Superville are being unleashed on audiences once again, and after a year off they’re chomping at the bit to release even more panto madness.

So hop aboard the magic carpet and book now for a hilarious, fun-packed adventure full of song, dance and all the usual Mercury magical mayhem.

Tickets are available online

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