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Guildford Fringe Theatre Company announces two pantomime productions for 2020

Philip Day

The Guildford Fringe Theatre Company is to present two pantomimes this winter.

Producers Nick Wyschna and Charlotte Bateup are set to stage Surrey's only two pantomimes in 2020 after many other shows were postponed.

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Offering fun and laughter for all the family, the magical “tale as old as time” Beauty and the Beast will play The Borough Hall, Godalming, from between December 12 and 16.

Actor Philip Day, who played Dame Trott in Jack and the Beanstalk in Godalming’s family panto last year, is delighted to be returning to play the Dame once more.

He said: “Last year was such fun and I can't wait to be working with the same production team - the best in the land! They ensure all the important ingredients are there - a hilarious, fast-paced script, energetic songs and dance routines, colourful costumes and scenery AND, this year, social distancing in the auditorium. So, rest assured Dads, I'm afraid I won't be able to come and sit on your laps or dash through the auditorium!

"We are all kids at heart and I think we all need a good laugh, especially during these uncertain times. I can't wait to get to grips with my Dame Dominique Derrière. She sounds like a bit of a diva but also a fun and friendly party girl who doesn't mind getting down and dirty with the household chores as she tends to her master's needs!

"To find her character, I think it's necessary to start with a good bra. Get that right and everything falls into place! If last year's audiences are anything to go by, we'll have them rolling in the aisles again with hilarity, fun and enthusiasm.”

Meanwhile, distinctly for the grown-ups, D!CK The Adult Panto, will play The Back Room of The Star Inn, Guildford, from November 25 to January 9. This will be the ninth Adult Panto for Guildford Fringe, following sell-out success in recent years.

Each theatre venue will operate at a greatly reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. Face coverings will be mandatory. Groups bookings will allow a maximum of 6 people to sit together. For full details of health and safety measures, visit www.GuildfordFringe.com.

To book for Beauty and the Beast, visit www.GodalmingPanto.com or telephone the Box Office on 01483 361101. For D!CK The Adult Panto, visit www.GuildfordFringe.com or telephone the Box Office on 01483 361101.

Producer Nick Wyschna said: “What a year 2020 has been! It makes me even more excited to be bringing Surrey’s only two pantomimes to Godalming and Guildford this year. I am so looking forward to making people smile and laugh… we could certainly all do with that! Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite childhood stories, it is so magical and the setting is just perfect in the historic town of Godalming!

"D!CK was the second adult panto I produced back in 2014 and I am over the moon to bring this brand new script by James Chalmers to Guildford. We are taking the safety of our audiences very seriously at this time. We are only selling 30% of the capacity of each venue so we can ensure social distancing throughout your visit. We will have a one-way system for entrance and exit and the venue will be cleaned in between every show. Our audiences will be able to arrive and feel relaxed so they can sit back in their bubble and enjoy our pantomimes!”

Picture by Matt Pereira.

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