Snow can't stop the Ipswich panto

BRAVE Jack wasn't the only one facing a giant struggle recently - with the heavy snow proving the real villain of this year's Regent pantomime.

IPSWICH: Brave Jack wasn't the only one facing a giant struggle recently - with the heavy snow proving the real villain of this year's Regent pantomime.

But in true theatre tradition the show had to go on, with audiences who have made it to performances hailing Jack and the Beanstalk the best festive fun they've had at the venue yet.

The show - starring boyband Blue's Antony Costa as Jack, Coronation Street legend Ken Morley as Dame Trott and Raven's James Mackenzie as the fiendish Fleshcreep - finishes on Sunday .

General manager David Mansfield said: “The snow did stop some people coming before Christmas and I'm crossing my fingers there isn't anymore snow this week.

“Hopefully anybody who didn't make it before can still come along to the remaining shows.

“I think, undoubtedly, this year people have been weary about spending money, too. But we still sell more tickets for the pantomime than we do for any other show during the year.

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“The pantomime is always a way of introducing people to the theatre and hopefully entice them to come back to see other productions.

“We've got a lot of stars and each of them puts in a really superb performance - the audiences seem to be loving it.

“It's really intense and people think of actors as having an easy life - perhaps they do if they're working on a film in Hollywood - but theatre is blooming hard work.

“Okay, our run isn't that long, but two performances a day is tough. You only have to see the artists at the end of the second show to know they've put their all into it.”

While the recession shows little sign of fading as quickly as the recent snow, it hasn't affected the Regent's single night performances and big names are continuing to come through - which is good news for the theatre according to Mr Mansfield.

“Looking ahead to the next couple of months we've got some really big artists coming along, JLS and Tinchy Stryder in February and N-Dubz are coming back in April.”

n Jack and the Beanstalk is at the Ipswich Regent until Sunday. For tickets, call the box office on 01473 433100 or visit www.ipswich regent.com