It’s before you! York Theatre Royal announces travelling panto troupe

Actors will visit all of the city’s wards offering a choose-your-own pantomime programme as a response to Covid

York Theatre Royal puts on one of the most famous pantos in the land. Even heart bypass surgery didn’t stop its renowned dame, Berwick Kaler, from writing and starring in its festive extravaganza in 2017. While the Covid-19 pandemic has left many playhouses with no option but to cancel their pantomimes this year, the Theatre Royal has come up with an alternative proposal: a travelling panto.

A troupe of actors will visit all 21 wards in York, presenting a pop-up show in the city’s community halls, social clubs and sports centres. It is a way to entertain smaller groups of local audiences in a Covid-secure environment. Paul Hendy is writing the scripts, as the initiative will allow audiences to choose from three pantos: Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin and Dick Whittington. The cast of local performers will include magician and cabaret entertainer Josh Benson, who made his professional acting debut in York’s panto as a child.

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