Beauty and the best? Magic panto promise for Millgate return

THE hardest thing about having a smash hit is following it up with something even better.But that is just what the masterminds behind last year’s Saddleworth panto – Jack and the Beanstalk – are set to do with this year’s production of Sleeping Beauty (December 14-31).

Rehearsals for this year’s Christmas spectacular at the Millgate Arts Centre, Delph are already well underway

Director Ben Richards explained: “The actors arrived on November 22 and straight away we hit the ground running. From day one, rehearsals have been electric.

“There is palpable chemistry between the Prince and Princess. And the King and Dame are absolutely hilarious.”

The show has been a long time in the making. According to producer, Will Cousins, the wheels started moving back in February.

“As soon as we had a first draft of the script, we went straight down to Hastings to meet our set designer,” confirmed Will.

“By March, the first pieces of set and costume were already complete.

“The show is so much bigger this year. We have also had to get a magic advisor involved.

“The Great Kovari (who was magic advisor to the late Paul Daniels) came on board in May to help us engineer some breathtaking illusions for the show. It is going to be really exciting.”

The Big Tiny are producing Sleeping Beauty as part of Saddleworth Live at the Millgate.

Tim Newbold and Michael Powis who organise the events explained: “One of the things we are really proud about is the fact that the show is made for Saddleworth.

“Nothing is hired in or recycled. It is written, made and produced for Saddleworth… from the costumes to the dance routines.

“We are really pleased to be able to offer a top-quality pantomime to local audiences. It is one of those things that helps bring communities together.”

Tickets are available online at or from box office on 01457 874644.

But do not leave it too late. Some dates are sold out and the other tickets are going fast.

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