Ensuring Bognor Regis gets a panto this year – despite Regis Centre closure

​Cinderella comes to Bognor Regis (contributed pic)​Cinderella comes to Bognor Regis (contributed pic)
​Cinderella comes to Bognor Regis (contributed pic)
Jennifer Jones, owner of Bognor Regis’ Jeneses Community Centre & Foodbank, has decided that Bognor absolutely can't go without a pantomime this Christmas.

With the Regis Centre closed for refurbishment, it was looking like Bognor was heading for a panto blank in 2023. Jennifer resolved that that was not going to happen and has booked two pantos for the Jeneses Community Centre, in the Church Hall.

Treasure Island will be on December 16 at 7pm, £10 per person; Cinderella, a bigger show, will be on December 29 at 3pm, £15 per person. Both will be performed by Chaplins Pantos (www.chaplinspantos.co.uk). Bookings and inquiries on 07821 178777. Ticket from Jeneses Community Centre, 45 Linden Road, Bognor Regis, PO21 2AP.

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“There is nothing happening at the Regis Centre this year and there are no other pantos in Bognor,” Jennifer said, “and so I thought being a community-spirited old lady I thought I would bring in a couple at a cost of about £2,000 – and obviously I would like to make my money back! Panto is so well attended at the Regis Centre and so well loved and they have a great reputation but I'm sure a lot of people who would have gone to the Regis Centre are not going to go off to Chichester or Worthing to see pantos so I just thought that we have got to have one here. We can get in 250 which is obviously what I would love to do but I should think that 100-150 would be reasonable though I sincerely hope that it will go above that. We will just do what we can. We will have stalls with Christmas items and we will just have some fun.”

Jennifer, who for many years ran Bognor Birdman, said: “I own the centre. My husband and I bought it 11 years ago. Unfortunately he died last year but I'm carrying on in any way I can.”

A spokesman for Chaplins Pantos said: “Chaplins Pantos are by far the biggest producers of touring children’s pantomimes in the UK and can boast the most experienced staff and theatrical directors in this highly-specialised field of children's entertainment. Our productions are seen by approximately half a million children nationwide every year. Many years of experience in this field has taught us just what children want, and we give it to them, fun, comedy, excitement, adventure, sing-along and plenty of audience participation.

“No story captures the imagination of children more than Cinderella. Your children will be transported on a magical journey to the home of Baron Hardup where they will meet Cinderella and all her friends. Packed solid with comedy, excitement and adventure, the children will love to cheer their hero Prince Charming and boo the horrible sisters Fifi & Lala. They will roar with laughter at the antics of Buttons and shout ever so ever so loud when the Prince finds out who really owns the glass slipper! All this is brought to life by a cast of five top entertainers from the world of pantomime, playing eight character parts. It's all good old-fashioned fun!.”