St Mary’s Pantomime returns to Lewes

The annual fun and frolics of the St Mary’s Pantomime in Lewes return this month when Dick Whittington is back on his adventures to London.

This year audiences will see many of the well-known faces back on stage.

These include Andy Freeman (King Rat), Louise Hackett (Spirit of the Bells), Lucy Newth (Dick Whittington), Nick Hazle (Idle Jack) and Emily Beer (Alice).

Two new faces will be welcomed this year in the key roles of Director and Dame.

Director Thomas Hackett shares family ties with the panto that go back more than 20 years through his sister Louise and father David. And he has taken principal roles himself in the last two years.

For 2014 Thomas has taken on Direction of the production, but will not himself be appearing on stage, and this is a first for the group where historically the Director has donned a wig and bra to also play the Dame.

Jon Borthwick (aka Sarah the Cook) appears this year as a new member of the group, coming to the St Mary’s panto through his association with Lewes Operatic Society, where he has been appearing in productions for the past three years (though never as a woman!).

Speaking in an interview for Rocket FM in October, Jon confessed that as soon as he learned of the upcoming vacancy for a Dame early in 2013, he made it his goal to ensure that every production team member at St Mary’s knew of his interest, and he is delighted that this has now paid off.

With a background in children’s entertainment, Jon should be well placed to deal with an audience of screaming children (and indeed adults), and is greatly looking forward to this new challenge.

The show runs at St Mary’s Social Centre, Lewes, from Saturday, January 11, to Saturday, January 18 (not Monday), with evening performances starting at 7pm.

In addition there are Saturday matinees at 2pm, and Sunday performances at 12 noon and 5pm.

Tickets are available now priced from £3 (child) and £9 (adults), online from the website, or by calling the box office on (01273) 477733.

Full information and online ticket sales at

St Mary’s Pantomime has been staging shows for the entertainment of the Lewes community for more than 60 years now.

Starting life at St Mary’s Church Hall in Highdown Road in 1947, the pantomime soon became part of the county town’s calendar before relocating to the group’s current home at St Mary’s Social Centre just a short distance away in 1962.