PANTO is coming to Llangollen Pavilion for the first time with Robin Hood making his bow on Wednesday.
Final rehearsals are now well under way for the long-awaited inaugural event to be staged by Llangollen Pantomime Group at the refurbished venue until Saturday.
The cast and crew of more than 60 have been rehearsing since October and will make full use of the pavilion’s professional staging, sound and lighting system.
Show director Paul Brown, 23, from Llangollen, said: “It is very exciting to be the first ever pantomime group to perform at the pavilion.
“This venue has seen such international names as Luciano Pavarotti, Bryn Terfel and Cerys Matthews perform, so we’re delighted to be following in their footsteps.
“The extra facilities at the pavilion will allow us to accommodate a 10-piece band to accompany all the singers.”
Paul, a maths teacher at Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin, has written the script for this year’s show – the first time Llangollen Pantomime Group has performed Robin Hood.
His co-director is Jo Potts, a trainee teacher from Llangollen, who will be playing Maid Marian who, alongside Robin and the merry men, strives to defeat the evil Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
“We’ve broken with panto tradition and opted for a male actor to play Robin,” said Jo.
“Usually the lead male in a pantomime is played by a woman, but we decided to give the title role to Morgan Thomas. He brings youth, talent and an excellent singing voice to the part.”
But this production has not dispensed with all tradition. As ever, the baddies are none too bright and the pantomime dame is played by a man, Simon Orton-Jones from Pengwern in Llangollen.
Simon plays Nanny Nigella – nurse and cook to Maid Marian.
Robin Hood also has parts for more than 20 children, performing as Maid Marian’s assistants, Robin’s merry men, the sheriff’s evil henchmen and animals.
Jo added: “Everyone is working very hard to ensure this is the best pantomime ever.
“The new venue, with a wider stage and plenty of dressing room facilities, has allowed us to accommodate a larger cast, making this the biggest and brightest show Llangollen has ever seen.”
Among the songs to be performed during the panto are Abba’s Money, Money Money, Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing.