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Published: September 16, 2020 | Updated: September 16, 2020

Panto is going ahead in Dorset this Christmas – Oh yes it is! – as Jack and crew hit Wimborne

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Pantos may have been postponed across the country this Christmas but it will be still be staged in Wimborne.

Oh, yes it will!

Blandford-based Made to Measure Productions and The Tivoli Theatre have confirmed that Jack and the Beanstalk will be going ahead.

But to ensure government guidelines are adhered to, the audience will watch the show from socially-distanced seats.

This will allow family groups to sit together while maintaining a safe distance from other audience members.

Additional safety measures, such as temperature checking and hand sanitiser stations, will also be in place throughout the venue.

The show will be slightly shorter than usual, at just over an hour with no interval.

However,  the fun will start before the curtain goes up as the cast get audience members up and dancing – socially distanced, of course – in the pre-show warm up.

Only a handful of professional pantomimes are taking place this Christmas.

Around 70 per cent of pantomime productions have postponed their shows to next year.

Gemma Davis, Director of the show said: “In a period of much uncertainty for theatrical and arts organisations around the world, it’s wonderful to know that creative innovation and collaboration have allowed us to bring our fantastic production of Jack and the Beanstalk to the stage this Christmas in Wimborne.

“Many theatres around the country are in an impossible position due to the pandemic.

“In order to survive we have to think outside-the-box to offer the general public the entertainment that they have been craving.”

Charlie North Lewis, Manager of The Tivoli, said: “We are very happy and pleased to be bringing a pantomime to you this year especially as it is such a hard time for live theatre.

“Thank you to Made to Measure for helping us to make this happen and to keep our theatre open during this difficult time.

“We will try to help to make your Christmas as good as always despite the difficulties that we are all facing.”

The Tivoli Theatre is also holding its increasingly popular ‘Grown-Ups Only’ nights on December 29 and 30 and January 2 and 4.

And for the first time in its history, it is offering a ‘relaxed performance’ on December 22 at 10.30am.

The one-off performance will be specially adapted to accommodate people on the autism spectrum, as well as those with communication difficulties, learning disabilities or anybody who would appreciate a slightly calmer theatre experience (including very young children).

Slight changes will be made to the show itself.

Any loud noises or strobe lighting will be omitted, the auditorium lights will be left on and audience members will be free to leave the theatre whenever they feel the need for some time out.

Jack and the Beanstalk hits the Tivoli stage on Friday December 18 and runs throughout the festive period until Monday January 4, with more than 30 performances to choose from.

Due to social distancing measures, the theatre will only have the capacity to entertain around half of its usual panto audience.

Tickets are available online at www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk