A panto streamed online earlier this year is being brought to life to entertain families this October half-term – with hundreds of tickets also being donated to frontline NHS workers in St Helens.
Leading panto producers Regal Entertainments is counting down four weeks until the curtain rises on family favourite Jack And The Beanstalk at St Helens Theatre Royal.
Regal Entertainments kept online audiences entertained at Easter when they went the extra mile to stream its popular seasonal show so families could still watch together at home while the country was still in the midst of a national lockdown.
The show proved so popular that theatregoers now have the opportunity to watch it in real-life during the October half-term school holidays featuring a cast of St Helens Theatre Royal favourites.
Jack And The Beanstalk comes to St Helens Theatre Royal for 15 performances between Thursday 21 October and Sunday 31 October 2021.
St Helens Theatre Royal has been granted the use of the Society Of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s ‘See It Safely’ mark. This certifies that the venue is complying with Government and industry Covid-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of staff, performers, and audiences.
Regal Entertainments and St Helens Theatre Royal wanted to mark the return of live panto to the venue by doing something special – so they are thanking the tireless efforts of frontline NHS workers by donating 500 panto tickets to Whiston and St Helens Hospitals.
Regal Entertainments, St Helens Theatre Royal, and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust are working together to allocate the tickets.
Ann Marr OBE, Chief Executive of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, commented:
“The past 18 months have been the most challenging time for our staff, and we are incredibly grateful for the support we continue to receive from our local community. Thank you to everyone at St Helens Theatre Royal for thinking of our staff during this time and giving them the opportunity to have some much-needed fun in our wonderful local theatre. I am sure they will enjoy every moment.”
The fabulous cast sees Timothy Lucas reprise his role of Jack, Catherine Cunningham as Mrs Fleshcreep, Olivia Sloyan as Princess Jill,Reece Sibbald as Simple Simon, Mark Two as Dame Dolly Trott, and Jenna Sian O’Hara as Fairy Mary.
The creative team includes director Chantelle Nolan, musical supervisor Callum Clarke, choreography by Nazene Langfield, and written byReece Sibbald.
Theatre manager and director Chantelle Nolan added:
“Online audiences absolutely loved Jack And The Beanstalk at Easter, it was different hosting a panto in this way but we had so much fun making it possible. Now we’re counting down the days until we welcome families back to the theatre to experience our lavish and magical pantomimes for themselves.
“After such a tough 18 months, we want to say thank you to the incredibly dedicated frontline NHS workers in our local hospitals by inviting them to join us for the show. They’ve worked tirelessly and we’re all in awe of them – they are real-life heroes. We’re inviting them to take a well-deserved break and join us on a magical journey with Jack and his friends.”
Jack And The Beanstalk tells the rags to riches story of a boy who sells the family’s cow for a handful of beans, getting him into a lot of trouble with his poor mother. But the story takes a magical twist when the beans sprout into a magnificent beanstalk that reaches up to a mystical land high in the sky.
Audiences will join Jack on his gigantic journey up the beanstalk as he discovers geese with golden eggs, a magic harp, and not forgetting a close encounter with a very hungry giant. But he needs to tread carefully, as the villainous Mrs Fleshcreep is hot on his heels, determined to stop him.
St Helens Theatre Royal has a range of Covid-secure measures in place. They include increased cleaning, hand sanitiser stations at points throughout the building, and a QR code phone app for audiences to order food and beverages to be delivered to them at their seats.
Customers are asked to continue to wear face coverings (unless exempt) as a courtesy to others, and are being encouraged to take a lateral flow test up to 48 hours before attending a show. People are asked not to visit the theatre if they have Covid symptoms. Meanwhile theatre staff are taking daily Covid tests.