Southwick Players give Pinocchio the panto treatment

The Southwick Players present Pinocchio. Picture by Miles Davies,
The Southwick Players present Pinocchio. Picture by Miles Davies,

Southwick Players president Nigel Bubloz is the producer as the company gives Pinocchio the panto treatment from December 31-January 7 at the Barn Theatre, Southwick.

Co-directors Tony Bright and Claire Lewis will be in charge of everything that’s happening on stage, but it will be Nigel and his team who are planning the whole thing.

“I have fulfilled the role of president since August 2010, but I have been involved with the group for longer than that. Like most people, it started when someone said ‘can you come along and give a hand with something’, and I just stayed! But I had been involved with amateur theatre anyway since my teens – definitely backstage.

“I have had a couple of stints being on stage, but only really in a background role. I am much happier behind the scenes! But I just really enjoy the variety involved in working on a theatre production, putting a show together. I just enjoy being part of the team and in this case leading it as the producer of the show, co-ordinating it all with a great team of people.

“The company does a pantomime every other year. This year we are doing it over New Year. We used to alternate with another group, but they have moved away from the Southwick Barn. Unfortunately, there is now panto only every other year.

“This year we are doing the full traditional pantomime. It seems to be what everyone wants to see, all the traditional elements, the dame, the baddie, lots of audience participation. It’s quite rare that audience members are allowed to scream and shout, and I think people like that. But it’s for the children too, and for a lot of the children it will be a new experience. It’s wonderful to see them. I love it when the audience starts to get vocal and noisy. It’s great when they are clapping other shows, obviously, but with panto, they can really shout!

“We are well supported as a company, not just for panto but for our others shows too. We don’t completely sell out, but it is not unusual for us to have at least one evening in our run sell out. Perhaps we are just putting on things that people want to see, and we have been able to attract some excellent directors now approaching us to direct for us. We have now got directors lined up for a couple of years ahead. We did struggle a few years ago, but things have got a lot better now. We all have a great time gelling together, and the great thing is that we have got a fantastic workshop at the Barn. It is such an asset that we can build a complete set and we can rehearse on that set. It is a great resource to have within the complex at the Southwick Community Centre.”

Tickets from the box office on 01273 597094.

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