Local children invited to audition for Basildon panto

Mick Ferris
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Following the success of Beauty and the Beast 2021-22, the Towngate Theatre in Basildon is truly back in business, and preparations are already underway on their high-flying panto for 2022-23, Peter Pan.

They will be offering local children the opportunity to star in one of their renowned panto productions, which earns the theatre rave reviews year-on-year.

For anyone interested in participating, the Towngate is looking for two groups of children, with different skill sets, to participate in the show. Auditions for both groups will be held at the Towngate Theatre on Sunday May 22.

The auditions are open to boys and girls aged from 8 to 16 years, children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

The two groups are as follows:

Lost Children Auditions and John & Michael Darling Auditions
They are looking for talented children who can sing, dance and act to be part of Peter Pan’s gang or one of the Darling children. These will be speaking and singing parts for boys and girls aged between 8-16 years.
This will be a movement-based audition, the children who get through this stage will be given songs and monologues to learn and asked to come back for a second audition a few weeks later.
Registration 9:30am
Auditions: 10am-12:30pm

Young Ensemble Auditions
They are also looking for extremely talented dancers aged between 10-16 years, who have at least five years’ experience of dance training. These children will be extremely featured in the production and dance alongside the professional ensemble in the big musical numbers.
Registration: 12:30pm
Auditions: 1pm – 5pm

Simon Fielding, who returns this year as Peter Pan’s co-producer and director said: “I am so excited that we are back this year with Peter Pan, which is truly the most magical of all pantomimes.

“We are looking for about 32 children in total – we would love to have an equal number of boys to girls, and we hope that this opportunity will encourage more boys to audition this year.

“This will be a life-changing experience for those that make it into the show, and one they will never forget – some of them will even get to fly!”

Towngate Theatre manager and co-producer, Simon Scott-Pearce, said: “The Towngate’s pantomimes have been a part of Basildon’s festive offering for over 15 years, becoming a Basildon family favourite and the start of many a Basildonian’s Christmas celebration.”

Sophie Ladds will be returning to the stage this year, as the dastardly Captain Hook. And after winning the hearts of the audiences as Dame Dolly Dumpling in Beauty and the Beast, Ian Hallard will also be returning as the Dame this year.

Once again, the Towngate’s box office records have been broken with Peter Pan currently outselling all previous pantomimes at this time in their respective years. Peter Pan runs from Wednesday November 23 – Monday January 2. Book online at www.towngatetheatre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01268 205 300.


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk