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Panto News

17th October 2011
Posted by Gateway 97.8

Bells ring out for Dick Whittington

The countdown to the Towngate Christmas panto spectacular got under way today with a special launch at the Basildon Bell Towngate.
With just over a month to go until the start of Dick Whittington, the pantomime cast including director and star Simon Fielding took time out of rehearsals for a special launch event.
The theatre, which received rave reviews for last years award production of Aladdin, expects to see up to 25,000 people attending the production over it’s month long run and Theatre Manager Graham Sandford is confident that this years production will be the most successful yet.
He said: “We have been very open in the past about the importance of pantomime and the fact it is so vital to the theatre in terms of income, so its imperative that we put on a good show, and I am very confident that this years production will prove to the be the best yet.”
Telling the legend of Dick and his pet cat as they make their way to London  on the search of fame and fortune the story is panto classic and director and star Simon Fielding promises a traditional panto with a modern twist.

Simon said: “The Bow Bells are an important part of the story so the launch event today was a great way to announce the panto.

We have got a fantastic cast and this year is set to be the biggest panto we have ever had. Although we try and keep the feel of the traditional pantomime we have also incorporated modern songs and dance routines into the show along with a few special tricks so there is something for the whole family.”
Dick Whittington runs at the Towngate Theatre from the 30 November – 2 January. Tickets are available from the Box Office on 01268 465465 or via

Simon says “its going to be a magicial panto with lots of fun.” Simon has also signed up to appear on Gateway 97.8 this Xmas as well