A Family Treat for All – Christmas Pantomime

In In the Press, News, on the 11th, December 2015

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By NCTJ Journalism trainee Andrew Young

Firthmoor Community Centre is providing panto fun at an affordable price with a Christmas production of ‘Cinderella’ performed by Darlington College students.

The ‘alternative’ pantomime which opens next week, looks to bring the story of Cinderella to the local community as well as provide experience for students studying Performing Arts and Technical Support for Events.

Producer and tutor Matt Campbell, 27, described the production as “unashamedly a bit rubbish, but from a comedy perspective, so it’s quite funny”.

“I wrote it a few years ago. I’ve done it in multiple venues with multiple companies throughout the years,” he said.

“It caters for an audience from little children right up to adults. Lots of jokes that are a bit tongue in cheek”.

The production will be running at the same time as Darlington Civic’s version of Cinderella but Matt insists that the two aren’t in competition: “We’re just an alternative,” he said.

“There are a lot of families who can’t afford to go to the big mainstream pantomime and we’re hoping to fill that gap”.

Tickets for the panto are priced at £3.

Glenis Harrison), chief officer for Firthmoor and District Community Association said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with Darlington College performing arts students”.

“FDCA is a community charity which provides a wide range of opportunities for local people to access social and recreational activities and other aspects that will improve their life chances so for us this is absolutely the ethos of the charity, to make experiences affordable”.

As well as providing an experience for audiences on a budget, the panto also provides students with acting experience. Matt thinks there is a challenge in performing community pantomime.

“Every community panto I’ve ever been in something goes wrong, and that’s just part and parcel of it. Yes, things are going to go wrong but the challenge for them is to work out how to get out of it”.

Gemma Hughes, 16, who plays Prince Charming said:  “We get to have experience in performing and playing different characters. We’re excited to show the finished product.”

Mackenzie Swash, 16, who plays Cinderella added: “I’m excited but I’m a bit scared. The audience are going to be so close we can smell them”.

Cinderella runs twice a day from Monday, December 14 to Thursday, December 17 at Firthmoor Community Centre.

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