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Panto Season not over yet for Avocet Theatre Company

You thought panto season was over? “Oh no it isn’t!”

That is, not for Avocet Theatre Company, Banbury’s pantomime specialist production company, who return with their unique and comedic take on classic tales in this summer pantomime!

After wowing Banbury with their Christmas themed Winter Wonderland event, created in partnership with Banbury Academy, ATC are bringing this home-produced show to Wykham Theatre. From 29th June to the 1 st July 2017, the group, made up of adults and children alike, invites you to join them in a climb up the beanstalk where magic, music and wonder await in this hilarious retelling of the much loved story!

Full of high-voltage energy and a host of well-known musical numbers, the show follows Jack (Sam Brittain), a local boy who lives with his mother, the poor farmer, Dame Trott (Ben Coleman). Jack soon finds himself falling in love with Jill (Jess Spengler), daughter of the drunken Baroness (Jennie Healy) and resolves to win her heart. However, evil lurks around the corner as the evil Giant (Ian Keeffe) and his villainous henchwoman, Poison Ivy (Gill Crowther) force the town to hand over their gold. Jack must stop their dastardly plan with the help of Poison Ivy’s twin sister – the Fairy Godmother (also Gill Crowther!) – and Captain Pugsley (Luke Wetherill) and his pirate crew.

Will evil prevail? Can Jack and Jill live happily ever after?

And will the Giant ever upload the perfect selfie to Insta*kilo *(“like Insta*gram, *but for those who are slightly heavier”)

As well as directing and starring as Dame Trott, Chairman and Artistic Director of ATC, Ben Coleman, has written this year’s show.

Ben who is also currently directing Banbury Academy’s production of The Wizard of Oz said:

“It has been an enormous undertaking for the group.

“It is a delight to watch such a talented group of performers adding a whole new dimension to the words that I spent many hours writing.

Cast of Jack and the Beanstalk
Cast of Jack and the Beanstalk

Ben continued:

”The group has also aimed to keep ticket prices as low as possible. Theatre is expensive to produce.

“It often costs many thousands of pounds to stage an amateur production and therefore it is essential that the community supports local arts. However, we also want theatre to be accessible to all ages. We find it such a shame that some cannot watch shows because they feel excluded by the price! We want to make sure theatre is affordable for the whole family and have kept the costs as low as we can!

“ATC is run by volunteers, with all profits going towards the production.”

Avocet Theatre Company was formed after the passing of local pantomime regular, Tom Greening, who had originally founded St John’s Drama Group in 2006. The group was closed in his memory and reformed as Avocet Theatre Company.

Since its reinvention, the group has taken on new and varied challenges to offer its members experiences not offered anywhere else in Banbury. Following a hit variety show, the group teamed up with Banbury Academy to create a Winter Wonderland experience last December –an event which saw nearly 2000 people attend!

Ben who also works at the school as a Drama and Music teacher added:

“We were blown away by the support.

“Winter Wonderland was a chance to show what ATC was capable of, as well as an opportunity to build ties with the local community who turned out in force to support both ATC and Banbury Academy.

”The group is open to anyone aged 8 to 80 and promises to be unlike any other group in the area.

“We have lots of big plans to give our members a chance to be part of something truly unique.

”After the pantomime, we are planning on producing a youth show, The Little Mermaid Jr, and then we will see what opportunities come our way. We are even hoping to one day produce our own film!

Anyone who wishes to join us should check out our website or follow us on Facebook. “

Jack & the Beanstalk takes place from Thursday 29th June to Saturday 1st July 2017 at Wykham Theatre, Banbury Academy.

Tickets are available from www.AvocetTheatre.co.uk/tickets.

Tickets cost £8 for adults and £6 for concessions with a family ticket (2 adults and 2 concessions) for £25.

Curtain up at 7.30pm each night.

Keep up to date with Avocet Theatre Company on Facebook

 

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