Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society kicks off the New Year with a sell-out as it launches into pantomime next week.
They will be staging Cinderella at the Windmill Theatre, with a version of the classic tale written by David Phipps-Davis.
Performances will be on Thursday, January 14 at 7.30pm; Friday, January 15 at 7.30pm; Saturday January 16 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm; and on Sunday, January 17 at 1pm and 5pm.
But if you haven’t already got a ticket, the chances are you have already missed the boat.
Director Kelly Manchee is delighted at the box office response.
They usually sell out, but as Kelly says, they usually well out the week of the production. This time they had sold out a few days after Christmas.
“Every year, it has just got busier and busier!”
The show is Kelly’s first time directing panto, her second time directing in all. Her previous directing credit was a production of Little Shop of Horrors.
“Because of the success of that, I thought I would give pantomime a go as well. It has been good fun.
“Directing is just generally something I have wanted to do. You can have a vision, and you can see what happens with it.
“You can actually make it happen. I have been doing shows with the company for ten years in Littlehampton. I am quite experienced at being on the stage.”
Kelly admits she misses the thrill of actually being on the stage, but directing brings plenty of rewards of its own. And also its own challenges.
“You are having to work with quite a short time frame. That gives you the challenge of having to put on the same size of show in a shorter amount of time. So really it has been quite full on. We have had to put some extra rehearsals in to get it done.
“We started in September, and that’s not very long when you are only getting four hours a week.
“It has been good, but it has been crazy as well – crazy in a good way!”
The choice of Cinderella as this year’s pantomime was a committee decision.
“We usually plan our shows quite far in advance. We usually have two years’ worth of shows lined up because you have to obtain the licences for putting on the shows. You have to work it all out in advance.”
But Cinderella commends itself for the fact that it is so obviously the classic pantomime story.
“It has got all the classic, traditional aspects, but we have also put in some new, up-to-date aspects.”
And no, Kelly is not saying in advance what they are.
“You will have to wait and see,” she laughs.
As for future directing, Kelly is pleased to say she has got a future production lined up already – though again she’s not saying which quite yet.
She’s pleased, though, with the shows that are coming up.
“Next summer we are doing Acorn Antiques by Victoria Wood. And then the next panto we will be doing will be Sleeping Beauty. And then the next summer show after that will be Legally Blonde.
“It only came up (for amateur production) this year, and we literally swooped on it as soon as it became available.
“It will be a great show to do”, says Kelly, who says the company generally likes to alternate between something new and something classic.