By Angus Hoy
Friday 18 Jan 2013 10:32:00
Browse all Drama articles


Middlesbrough Theatre’s hugely popular panto has been on yet another record-breaking run.

Audiences for this season’s production of Peter Pan have been clamouring for more ever since the show opened to rave reviews last month.

The show, starring John Challis (Boycie in Only Fools and Horses) as Captain Hook, played to a total audience of 22,229 – that’s 92% of the theatre’s capacity and well up on last year’s record of 89% set by Snow White.

Nationally average attendances were 75% according to the latest figures released by the Theatrical Management Association.

This year’s panto proved so popular that the producers even had to add an extra schools’ performance to cope with demand before the end of this year’s run on Sunday, January 6.

And there was even a dramatic twist just hours before the opening performance when Joanne Shields – who played the Mermaid and Mrs Darling – broke her wrist after falling on an icy pavement.

Understudy Amy Burrows – who played Tinker Bell – stepped into Joanne’s shoes for the rest of the run, while Rachel Thornton, a dancer in Middlesbrough Theatre pantos since the age of six, made her professional acting debut as Tinker Bell.

Next year’s panto is Sleeping Beauty starring Kim Hartman and Vicki Michelle from ’Allo ’Allo - and more than 600 more tickets have already been sold than at the same time last year.

Middlesbrough Theatre Manager David Lindsey said: “Yet again the production team have pulled out all the stops and really built on the success of previous years.

“Another stunning show has kept the audiences coming back for more – they know they’re guaranteed first class entertainment at Middlesbrough Theatre.

“I’m certain next year’s production of Sleeping Beauty will be another record-breaker, and Kim and Vicki are a couple of true stars who panto fans will love.”

Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “The Middlesbrough Theatre panto is more popular than ever, and that speaks volumes about the quality of the production.

“The entire production team are to be congratulated on yet another first-rate job – here’s to more broken records and happy audiences next year.”

  • The theatre’s exciting new season, packed with shows for all ages, is now on sale. To book, call the Middlesbrough Theatre Box Office on 01642 81 51 81, visit the Town Hall Box Office on Albert Road (Tel: 01642 729 729) or book online at

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