Ipswich theatre counts success of panto

THEATRE bosses are celebrating today after reaping a huge profit from their pantomime for the second year running.

THEATRE bosses are celebrating today after reaping a huge profit from their pantomime for the second year running.

Ipswich's Regent Theatre has today revealed that staging Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs over Christmas has brought in nearly £66,000 profit.

Snow White was the second professional pantomime staged at the Regent following a decision in 2005 to end a 27-year Christmas association with the amateur Co-op Juniors group.

More than 30,000 people visited during the pantomime's 42-performance run.

Theatre manager Hazel Clover said she was delighted with the figures, which will mean the theatre can go one step further with its plans to reduce the running costs that come from Ipswich's taxpayers.

She said: “We are thrilled that once again the pantomime will substantially contribute to the overall year's income.”

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After the success of Peter Pan last year, which starred veteran entertainer Brian Blessed, audiences this year saw former EastEnder Anita Dobson take on the starring role of the Wicked Queen in Snow White.

Anita was joined by a cast which included seven dwarfs and children's television presenter Richard Cadell, who appeared with Sooty and Sweep.

The final profit this year is less than last year, which was £88,000.

However, this year also had six fewer performances and Ms Clover said there were fears the killings of five women in Ipswich last month had affected audience figures as well.

She said: “We had a lot of people phoning us to see if they could swap their tickets from evening performances to matinees. It is not usually our policy to allow that, but we thought it was the right thing to do in the circumstances.

“We noticed that people were arriving in groups more and that there was a real reluctance to be in the town at all.

“I think without a doubt what happened had an impact on ticket sales, as it did on other things around the town.”

And while the Snow White profit was smaller than that earned by Peter Pan, the £65,772 is still substantially higher than the £13,058 earned during the last Co-op Juniors pantomime in 2004.

The Regent has already announced it will be teaming up with the same production company to stage their next pantomime, which will be Cinderella.

Did you see Snow White? What did you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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