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Oh, yes it really is

It’s that time of year again – oh, yes it is!

Kathryn Rooney, Aladdin

It’s that time of year again – oh, yes it is! Barbara Hodgson takes a look at what’s on offer this panto season.

FROM slapstick fun with the Dames to a sprinkling of festive goodwill from the fairy godmothers, the annual pantomime is an eagerly-awaited tradition for many families.

There are some real treats on offer, from the legendary Mickey Rooney making his panto debut at Sunderland Empire to The Daleks and hi-tech 3D “Bogglevision” at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle.

So, get ready to hiss and boo with our round-up of some of the highlights.

Jack And The Beanstalk

Where: The Customs House, South Shields.

When: December 6 to January 6.

Starring: Scooch’s David Ducasse as Jack, TV’s John Grundy in his panto debut as King Grundy and comic favourites Ray Spencer and Bob Stott as Tommy the Trumpeter and Dame Dotty.

Tickets: From £7.50.

Contact: (0191) 454-1234 or www.customshouse.co.uk

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Where: Darlington Civic Theatre.

When: December 7 to January 20.

Starring: Darlington’s own pop idol Zoe Birkett as Snow White, former EastEnders actor John Altman as the henchman and Emma Atkins as the wicked queen.

Tickets: £11-£18.50.

Contact: (01325) 486-555.

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Aladdin

Where: Empire Theatre, Consett.

When: December 14-19.

Starring: Alistair Divall and the aerial silk acrobatics of Russian circus stars Julia and Slavi Makarova.

Tickets: £11 (£9).

Contact: (01207) 218-171.

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Aladdin

Where: The Forum Theatre, Billingham.

When: December 8 to January 6.

Starring: Stu Francis, Duggie Brown and Norman Barrett.

Tickets: £10.50-£14.50.

Contact: (01642) 552663 or www.forumtheatrebillingham.co.uk

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Sleeping Beauty

Where: Gala Theatre, Durham.

When: December 5 to January 6.

Starring: Maureen Nolan as Fairy Crystal and Mike Holoway as the Prince.

Tickets: From £7.50.

Contact: (0191) 332-4041 or www.galadurham.co.uk

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Cinderella

Where: Middlesbrough Theatre.

When: December 7 to January 6.

Starring: ’Allo ’Allo’s Arthur Bostrom as an Ugly Sister, Brookside’s Barbara Hatwell as Fairy Godmother and Herbie Adams as Buttons.

Tickets: £12.50 (£11).

Contact: (01642) 815181 or www.middlesbrough.gov.­uk

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Hansel & Gretel

Where: The Black Swan Theatre at Newcastle Arts Centre and Gateshead City Learning Centre next to Tyne Tees, Gateshead.

When: November 28 and 29 (Newcastle) and November 30 and December 1 (Gateshead).

Starring: Kipper Tie Theatre, presented by Arena North.

Tickets: £7, £4.50 children.

Contact: (0191) 285-9000 or info@arenanorth.org

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Cinderella

Where: The Phoenix Theatre, Blyth.

When: December 7-15.

Starring: The Phoenix Theatre Company.

Tickets: £9.50 (£8.50).

Contact: (01670) 367228.

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Dick Whittington

Where: The People’s Theatre, Newcastle.

When: December 8-16.

Starring: Adam Gibb as Dick and Gordon Russell as King Rat. Tickets: £9.50 (£7.50).

Contact: (0191) 265-5020.

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Robina Hood and the Babes in the Wood

Where: The Round, Newcastle.

When: December 21 and 22; and January 1-5.

Starring: The Bruvvers Theatre Company.

Tickets: £8.99.

Contact: (0191) 260-5605.

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Cinderella

Where: Sunderland Empire.

When: December 8 to January 6.

Starring: Mickey Rooney as Baron Hardup and his wife Jan as Fairy Godmother; Les Dennis as Buttons, Liberty X’s Michelle Heaton as Cinderella and Andy Scott Lee as Prince Charming.

Tickets: £7.50 to £22.50.

Contact: (0870) 602-1130 or www.SunderlandEmpire.org.uk

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Aladdin

Where: Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

When: December 3 to January 19.

Starring: Pop star Faye Tozer; comedy duo Clive Webb
(Mr Twankey) and Danny Adams (Aladdin), and The Daleks, with the addition of 3D Bogglevision glasses.

Tickets: £6.50-£23.50.

Contact: 0844 811-2121 or www.theatreroyal.co.uk

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Sleeping Beauty

Where: The Journal Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

When: December 7 to January 5.

Starring: Comedy trio Brendan Healy and Maxie and Mitch. Tickets: From £6.50.

Contact: 0844 493-9999 or www.ticketmaster.co.uk

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