Lockdown means double down for Elgiva panto prep

Theatres up and down the land are closed for a second lockdown; some have been closed since March and some have sadly had to close their doors forever.

For one plucky theatre, however, a second lockdown means an opportunity to really get ready for its Christmas pantomime. The Elgiva in Chesham responded to the pandemic earlier in the year by changing this year’s title from Snow White to The Sleeping Beauty, and has made additional changes to ensure it can go ahead with its traditional Christmas show – the only panto in the area, possibly in the county.

“We’re having a shorter run,” Theatre Manager David Cooper explains, “And our cast are panto professionals who are used to handling whatever gets thrown at them, which for a pantomime can sometimes mean literally! They’ll be rehearsing on Zoom, workshopping the script to ensure it’s full of fun and laughter ready for our Christmas audience.”

While the theatre is closed, staff are redesigning the backstage space to accommodate social distancing and ensuring its detailed safety plans are checked and double-checked ready for December.

The theatre, which is wholly owned and operated by Chesham Town Council, is producing its pantomime with New Pantomime Productions.

Manager David Cooper added: “Christmas isn’t Christmas without a panto – we are determined to bring some sparkle to audiences at Christmas, a chance to come together for something wonderful and to enjoy the magic that only comes from live theatre. It will be safe, it will be fun and it will be spectacular.”

First performance: Saturday 19 December 3pm
Gala & press night: Saturday 19 December 7pm
Final performance: Sunday 3 January 2pm
Signed performance: Monday 21 December 4.30pm

9th November 2020