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Cast and crew delighted as Elgiva pantomime scoops three awards

We are thrilled at the news that our December 2022 pantomime bagged three audience awards!

We won three awards!

Sleeping Beauty was already a hit with audiences, playing to packed audiences through its run.

The pantomime, which was produced by The Elgiva in association with New Pantomime Productions, was given the awards by Atlantic 195’s Showtime Sunday, after presenter Steven Clark visited pantos up and down the country, including London’s Hackney Empire and the Theatre Royal in York.

The awards bagged by The Elgiva for Sleeping Beauty were:

  • 2022 Best Box Office Winner – The Elgiva
  • 2022 Best Principal Girl – Laura Bazely as Sleeping Beauty
  • 2022 Outstanding Achievement – Chris Edgerley as Chester the Jester

David Cooper, Theatre Manager, The Elgiva, said: “We had an absolute blast with Sleeping Beauty this season! We knew from audience feedback that this was our best panto yet, and its lovely to have the dedication and commitment of the cast, crew and staff recognised in this way. Panto is a very special part of what we do at The Elgiva and it’s very much a team effort bringing that magic and sparkle to the community at Christmas…

We’re already hard at work behind the scenes creating next year’s magic – Cinderella – so please join us next December for another treat!”

Laura Bazely who took to the Elgiva boards as this year’s heroine, said: “I am so proud of Sleeping Beauty; the whole cast brought all their talents to the stage and it created an amazing production. As a local performer, The Elgiva gave me a massive opportunity this year – it was full of Christmas magic, and I’m so happy to be ending the season with loads of happy memories, and even an award!”

Chris Edgerley, who delighted audiences as mischievous Chester the Jester was thrilled to win the Outstanding Achievement award.

He said: “I’ve always been a performer and what is great as an actor is being able to perform on various stages. Big flashy theatres certainly have their appeal and I’m at home on a stage, but what I love the most is getting into a venue that makes you feel at home. I can’t tell you how friendly, welcoming and homely The Elgiva is as a venue.

“My first pantomime this year at the venue was a wonderful experience. I loved the atmosphere and sense of community spirit that everyone had. It adds to the magic of pantomime and you certainly feel that love and warmth coming from the audience onto the stage.

“I hope my first visit to The Elgiva is not my last as I think this venue is a gem and provides a solid heart beat to the welcoming community of Chesham.”

We reached out to Steven Clark, who was in charge of making the award decisions.

He told us: “I have been involved with pantomime for over 30 years and I wrote and produced my first village pantomime at the age of 13.

We reached out to Steven Clark, who was in charge of making the award decisions.

He told us: “I have been involved with pantomime for over 30 years and I wrote and produced my first village pantomime at the age of 13.

What I loved about pantomime was the sense of community spirit and how everyone in the family gets together for the annual outing. A chance for young and old to be entertained with magic and mayhem and transported to make believe land for a few hours and boo and hiss along together. Pantomime puts smiles on faces and in these recent years it has been needed more than ever.

“What I also love about going to visit different venues and judge pantomimes for my yearly awards is that you get to witness first hand that special community feel. When I visit large venues with great big theatres and huge celebrity-filled pantomimes – you get lost in the ‘hype’ and ‘extravaganza’ of it all – but when you visit somewhere like The Elgiva, it brings me back to my roots and happier times of that first village pantomime.

“Don’t get me wrong, The Elgiva pantomime is just as much fun (if not more) than a big flashy all bells and whistles production – but it is the sense of community and togetherness that makes it special.

“I awarded The Elgiva ‘Best Box Office’ award because the initial warm welcome was so overwhelmingly positive. The staff were welcoming and informative, and it was if they knew me; it was personable, it came with ease, and it wasn’t fake.

“The ladies behind the café bar were so friendly and warm, the front of house staff talked to you like you were their own relative, and the whole feel of family was strong in the auditorium.

“I loved how people were gathering together for the first time in two years to be out of the house, watching a pantomime in their own town and supporting theatre. They were there for a good time and they made sure they had one.

“I think The Elgiva is a little jewel on the outskirts of London. With easy transportation links a lovely little market place to grab a coffee and then the wonderful café inside the venue – really does make this venue something that Chesham should be proud of.

“I cannot wait to visit again for many years to come.”

We can’t wait to do it all over again… next year!

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