Revealed: First-ever 'panto' for Easter at Harrogate Theatre

Harrogate Theatre's chief executive David Bown and director Phil Lowe with production manager Richard Bielby and staff members at the highly successful Harrogate Theatre Scenic Services department. (1703282AM1)
Harrogate Theatre's chief executive David Bown and director Phil Lowe with production manager Richard Bielby and staff members at the highly successful Harrogate Theatre Scenic Services department. (1703282AM1)

For the first time ever, the creative team behind Harrogate Theatre’s much-loved pantomime are aiming to repeat their annual festive success with a fantastic new Easter show for all the family.

But writer and chief executive David Bown and director Phil Lowe are emphasising their new version of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Emperor’s New Clothes is not quite an Easter ‘panto’.

Phil Lowe said: “It has elements of panto but it isn’t the same. We’ve got a lot of the same team involved and we’re keeping the same production values and quality but panto is essentially for Christmas time only.”

The aim, said David Bown, is to update Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale for modern times in a fun way which appeals to youngsters and adults alike with original songs, jokes and stunning scenery.

David said: “Everyone knows the story. It’s still as relevant today as when it is written.

“Our version will be a bit cheeky and work on different levels so that parents can enjoy it, too. It’s a contemporary fairytale.

As well as the theatre’s ‘Lennon and McCartney’, the new Easter show will boast two regular cast members from the incredibly popular annual panto and three key members of the panto’s production team.

Boasting a strong cast with music by Nick Lacey and Tim Cumper and stage designs by Richard Foxton, the team are hoping the new show which runs from April 6-15 will be another smash for Harrogate Theatre.

David said: “We are well known for presenting great touring productions but if this is successful we hope to do even more homegrown shows.”