Panto chance for hundreds

Sally Naden as Fairy Vanity in Mother Goose
Sally Naden as Fairy Vanity in Mother Goose

A record number of Fylde youngsters will be taking part in this year’s Lowther Pavilion pantomime Mother Goose.

Some 300 junior cast members from Clifton Academy and the Hotfoot Dance Club, both in St Annes, and The Dance Place in Blackpool’s South Shore will feature in rotation during the run of 39 performances over 20 days from December 9. Members of the Ormerod Drama Group will also be involved.

Sally Naden is back on the Lowther stage for a fourth successive year as Fairy Vanity, while for the first time since Lowther launched professional pantos in 2010, there is a change of actor playing the dame.

Into the shoes of Ian Fox, who is performing elsewhere, steps TV actor Nick Wymer, well known to young audiences as headmaster Mr Tubb in the popular ITV series My Phone Genie.

It is a conscious bid to broaden family appeal and Nick said: “I am really looking forward to performing at Lytham and bringing my own brand of tomfoolery to the part. It’s a fantastic opportunity.

“My role on My Phone Genie includes live action as well as special effects and is an off-the-wall comedy with heightened reality, so I’m looking forward to bringing some of this to the Fylde coast.”

Tim Lince, Mother Goose’s director as well as heading the Lowther Trust, said: “As a production company we have been re-evaluating our pantomimes and have made the decision that family appeal is everything. Nick has an all-round appeal that I’m sure the Fylde coast audiences will love.”

With other cast members to be announced soon, tickets are already on sale. The run starts with performances for schools from December 9 to 19, with the first evening show on December 20. The 5pm curtain-up time which proved popular when introduced last year is repeated on December 27 to 30 inclusive.