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Bath Theatre

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"One of the most important surviving examples of Georgian theatre architecture".

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Panto history at Bath Theatre

1938: Cinderella
1939: Babes in the wood
1940: Cinderella
1941: Mother Goose
1942: Little Red Riding Hood
1943: Dick Whittington
1944: Jack and the Beanstalk
1945: Cinderella
1946: Mother Goose
1947: Dick Whittington
1948: Little Red Riding Hood
1949: Jack and Jill
1950: Little Miss Muffett
1951: Cinderella
1952: Dick Whittington
1953: Goldilocks and the three bears
1954: Little Bo Beep
1955: Jack and Jill
1956: Cinderella
1957: Mother Goose
1958: Little Red Riding Hood 
1959: Little Miss Muffet 
1960: Puss in Boots
1961: Goldilocks and the three bears
1962: Mother Goose
1963: Puss in Boots 
1964: Jack and Jill
1965: Little Miss Muffet
1966: Goldilocks and the three bears
1967: Little Bo Beep
1968: Puss in Boots
1969: Jack and Jill 
1970: Little Red Riding Hood 
1971: Goldilocks and the three bears
1972: Little Bo Beep 
1973: Mother Goose
1974: Puss in Boots
1975: Little Red Riding Hood
1976: Jack and the Beanstalk
1977: Dick Whittington
1978: Cinderella
1979: Aladdin


 
1980: Jack and the beanstalk 
1981: No Pantomime due to renovations
1982: Cinderella 
1983: Aladdin
1984: Dick Whittington
1985: Jack and the Beanstalk
1986: Mother Goose
1987: Robinson Crusoe
1988: Dick Whittington
1989: Babes in the Wood
1990: Aladdin
1991: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
1992: Cinderella 
1993: Dick Whittington
1994: Jack and the Beanstalk
1995: Sleeping Beauty 
1996: Cinderella
1997: Aladdin 
1998: Jack and the Beanstalk
1999: Dick Whittington 
2000: Cinderella
2001: Aladdin
2002: Robin Hood and the babes in the wood
2003: Jack and the Beanstalk 
2004: Dick Whittington 
2005: Mother Goose 
2006: Cinderella
2007: Aladdin
2008: Jack and the Beanstalk
2009: Sleeping Beauty
2010: Aladdin
2011: Dick Whittington
2012: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
2013: Peter Pan
2014: Cinderella 
2015: Jack and the Beanstalk 
2016: Aladdin
2017: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 
2018: Peter Pan
2019: Beauty and the Beast
2020: NO PANTO due to Covid-19
2021: Cinderella
2022: Aladdin
2023: Sleeping Beauty
2024: Snow Whtie and the Seven Dwarfs



 

1945-53

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1945: Cinderella
Cast

Vera KitchenPeggy Barnes, Betty Hamilton, Eric Christmas, George Ellisia,

Leon Pierre, Arthur Carvey, Henry G Adams, Sam Lockridge, Diane Dudley,

Patricia Horder, Jimmy Mac

Produced by Reg A Maddox

1949: Jack and Jill

Cast

Billy Howard, Petre Julian, Jimmy Mac

1951: Cinderella

Cast

Jimmy Mac

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1953: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Cast
Jimmy Mac, 
Trevor Moreton

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1954: Little Bo Beep

Cast

Billy Burden, Shirley Brett

1955: Jack and Jill

Cast

Jimmy Mac

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1956: Cinderella

Cast

Norma ArnouldJack Haig

1958: Little Red Riding Hood

Cast

Jimmy Mac

 

 

 

 

 

 

1961: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Cast

Jimmy Mac

1954-55

1956-58

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1968/69 Puss in Boots

Opened 26th December 1968

Cast
Jimmy Mac, Patrick Ward, Peter Dane, The Simmons Brothers, Jennifer Burch, Roslyn Dunabr,
Vincent Worth, James Irwin, 
Tricia Barnes

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1969: Jack and Jill

Opened 26th December 1969

Cast

Hilary Claypole (as Vichel - The Wicked Witch), Deidre Dee (as Fairy Starlight), 

Jennifer Burch (as Dolly Dimple), Gwenfron Hughes (as Tommy Tucker), 

Peter Dare (as Alderman Bungle), Jimmy Mae (as Jimmy Green), Neil Michael (as Zarami), 

Patrick Ward (as Sarah the Cook), Caroline Weller (as Jack), Frances Alger (as Jill), 

Sonny Farrar (as Old King Cole), Alan Simmons (as Scratch), Keith Simmons (as Squeek),

Desmond King (as Scrape)

 

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1972: Little Bo Beep

Cast

Billy BurdenKeith Simmons, Alan Simmons, Clifford Henry

1975/76 Little Red Riding Hood

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1976: Jack & The Beanstalk

Opened 26th December 1976

Cast

Frankie Howerd, Jane Fyffe, Nat Jackley, Robert Aldous, George Moon, Finn & Jones,

Debbie Young

 

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1977: Dick Whittington

Opened 22nd December 1977

Cast

Arthur English, Anita Harris, Simon Oates (as King Rat), Teresa Mann, Mark Jefferis, 

Jill Francis, Holly Doone, Allen Christie, Jack Tripp

 

Written by John Morley

Choreography by Denise Shaune

Directed by Simon Oates

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1978: Cinderella

Opened 26th December 1978

Cast

Jon Pertwee, Mervyn Hayes, Avril Angers, Lynda Baron, Bernie Winters (as Buttons), 

Sally Smith (as Cinderella), Gillian Humphreys

Directed by Tom Hawkes

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1979: Aladdin

Opened 26th December 1979

Cast

Leslie Crowther, Judy Carne, John Clegg, George Lacy, Vyvian Hall, Robert Marlowe,

Mario Harris, Bryan Sullivan, Nina brown

Directed & Choreographed by Robert Marlowe

Written by John Morley

 

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1982: Cinderella

 

Cast
Lucie Skeaping, Ann Sidney, Peggy Mount, Bill Owen, Ward Allen & Roger,

John Atterbury, Brian Cant, Alexandra Denman, Jimmy Edwards (as The King), Aimi MacDonald (as Dandini), Bronwen Williams, The Mollie Tanner Dancers

Directed by Paul Elliott

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1983: Aladdin

29th December 1983 - 28th January 1984

Cast
Dora Bryan (as Widow Twankey), John Nettles, Henry Kelly, Toni Arthur, Julie Dorne Brown,
Vince Eager, Lucie Skeaping

Directed by George Layton

Choreographed by Mollie Tanner
 

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1984: Dick Whittington

 

Cast
Jan Hunt, Eric Sykes, Norman Rossington, Norman Vaughan, Andrew Sachs, Chris Harris, 
Cheryl Taylor, Scott Mackee, Clair Symonds, The Tanwood Dancers

Directed by Paul Elliott


 

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1985: Jack and the Beanstalk
20th December 1985 - 1st February 1986

Cast
Terry Scott, June Whitfield, Reginald Marsh, Susan Maughan, Christopher Luscombe, 
Honor Blackman (as The Demon Queen)
 
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1986: Mother Goose

 

Cast
Danny La Rue, David Ellen, Ava Healy, Allan Simmons, Keith Simmons, Jenny Logan, 
Joe Church, Kay Lyell, Robert Aldous

 

1987: Robinson Crusoe

 

Cast
Leslie Crowther, Janet Dibley, Glyn Owen, Chris Harris, David Griffin

1988: Dick Whittington

 

Cast
Lionel Blair, John Quale, Roger Kitter, Hope & Keen, Toni Palmer, Joe Church, Gina Giles,
Alison Holloway

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1989/90 Babes in the Wood

21st December 1989 - 28th January 1990

Cast
Jack Tripp, Lyn Paul, Roy Hudd, Geoffrey Hughes, Richard Wyatt , Stee Billingsley, Mel Warren, 
Allen Christie, Debbie Flitcroft, Ruby Hudd, Gary Shelford, Gary Lovini, Timothy Perrin

Maurice Colbourn was originally announced to appear but sadly passed away 4th August 1989.


 

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1990: Aladdin

 

Cast
Tom O'Connor, Jeffrey Holland , Roland Rat, Jilli Foot, Bill Bellamy, Rosemarie Ford (as Aladdin),
Peter Jay Scott, Nigel Stephenson, Jenny Walker, Richard Gauntlett, Leon Green

Annie St John was cast in this pantomime but attempted to commit suicide shortly before rehearsals were due to start and she later passed away in December 1990. She was replaced by Rosemary Ford.

1991/92 Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

19th December 1991 - 26th January 1992

Cast
Marti Caine (as The Wicked Queen), Derek Griffiths, Danielle Carson (as Snow White), 

Danny Blackner, Peter Bonner, Paul Darnell, Anthony Georghiou, Johnny Ghavam, Jonathan Key,

James Puddephat, Paul Scott Harris, Eddy Seager, Julian Skelton, Teddie Thompson

1992: Cinderella

17th December  1992 - 21st January 1993

Cast
Lesley Joseph (as Fairy Godmother), Gareth Chilcott, Rolf Harris (as Buttons), 
Frances Dodge, Tina Doyle, Sarah Jane Hassell, Gwyn Jones, Jonathan Owen, Sylvester McCoy

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1993: Dick Whittington

12th December 1993 - 20th January 1994

Cast
June Brown, Ian Botham, Wayne Morris, Geoffrey Davies, Lara Jarmain, Richard Jarmain,

Jackie Sysum, Gary Thomas, Robin Askwith, Buster Merryfield, Su Porter, Robert Duncan

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1994: Jack & The Beanstalk

 

Cast
Lionel Blair​, Michael Elphick, Britt Ekland, Samantha Hughes, Howard Jepson, Charles Lloyd, 
William Shrew, Steve Johnson, David Morton

1995: Sleeping Beauty

21st December 1995 - 28th December 1996

 

Cast
Julie Mullins, Hinge & Bracket, Keith Chegwin, Patrick Fyffe, Peter Hilton, George Logan, 
Gareth Chilcott, Paul Mead, Jan Hunt, Sooty

1996: Cinderella

19th December 1996 - 26th January 1997

 

Cast
Patsy Palmer, Derek Nimmo, Ross King, Bella Eberg, Jon Monie, Andrew Bell, Stephen J Dean,
James Horne, Andrew Ryan, Postman Pat

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1997: Aladdin

18th December 1997 - 25th January 1998

 

Cast
Jenny Powell (as Aladdin), Mark Curry (as Wishee Washee), Peter Dean (as Abanazar), 

Nicholas Parsons (as Widow Twankey), George Marshall, Paul Adams, Shaun Curry

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1998: Jack & The Beanstalk

16th December 1998 - 24th January 1999

 

Cast
Paul Bradley (as Simple Simon), Rodney Bewes (as Dame Trott), John Challis (as Fleshcreep), 
Jane Freeman (as Fairy), Gemma Lowy (as Jack Trott), Tanya Caridia (as Princess), 

Les Wilson (as The King), The Nitwits

UK Productions 

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1999: Dick Whittington

16th December 1999 - 23rd January 2000

 

Cast
Wayne Sleep, Chsrles Burden, Aimi Macdonald, Jill Greenacre, Juliette Kaplan, Rik Gaynor,

Nicholas Smith

UK Productions

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2000: Cinderella

14th December 2000 - 21st January 2001

 

Cast
Dominic Wood (as Buttons), Tom Owen (as Baron), Marti Webb (as Fairy), Shaun Curry, 
Susan Hallam Wright, Gemma Lowy, Phil Rose, Sophia Thierens

UK Productions

2001: Aladdi

13th December 2001 - 20th January 2002

Cast
Richard McCourt, Chris Harris (as Widow Twankey), Jon Monie, Larry Dunn (as Abanazar), 
Anna Williamson, Des Coleman, David Bell, Sarah Louise Day, Ben Draper

UK Productions

2002: Robin Hood & The Babes in The Wood

13th December 2002 - 19th January 2003

Cast
Chris Harris, Jon Monie, Sarah Thomas, Rik Gaynor, Colin Tarrant, Clare McGlinn

UK Productions

2003: Jack & The Beanstalk

18th December 2003 - 25th January 2004

 

Cast
Chris Harris (as Dame Trott), Shaun Curry (as Fleshcreep), Sherrie Hewson (as Fairy), 
James McCourt (as Simon Trott), Graham Seed (as The King), Kate Weston (as Jack)

UK Productions

2004: Dick Whittington

16th December 2004 - 23rd January 2005

 

Cast
Jon Monie, Chris Harris (as Sarah The Cook), Patrick Miller, Sid Owen (as Dick)

UK Productions

2005: Mother Goose

15th December 2005 - 22nd January 2006

Cast
Chris Harris (as Mother Goose), Anne Charleston (as Fairy), Mark Buffery, Mark James, 
Jessica Punch, Christina Baily, Marcus Knibbs

UK Productions

2006: Cinderella

14th December 2006 - 21st January 2007


Jon Monie, Chris Harris (as Buttons), Ruth Madoc​ (as Fairy Godmother), Adam Price, 
Gillian Budd, Mark Buffery

UK Productions

2007: Aladdin

13th December 2007 - 20th January 2008

 

Cast
Jon Monie (as Wishee Washee), Chris Harris (as Widow Twankey), Chril Till​ (as Aladdin), 
Clive Mantle (as Abanazar)

UK Productions

2008: Jack & The Beanstalk

18th December 2008 - 25th January 2009


Jon Monie (as Simple Simon), Chris Harris (as Dame Trott), Colin Baker (as Fleshcreep), 
Susan Penhaligon (as Fairy), Marcus Knibbs (as King), Lewis Bradley (as Jack Trott)

UK Productions

2009: Sleeping Beauty

17th December 2009 - 24th January 2010

 

Cast
Jon Monie, Chris Harris, Tom Owen, Liza Goddard, Natalie Marie Dignam, Gemma Bissix, 
Tom Bonser

UK Productions

2010: Aladdin

16th December 2010 - 23rd January 2011

Cast


Jon Monie (as Wishee Washee), Chris Harris (as Widow Twankey), Ricky Groves​ (as Abanazar), 
Gemma Hunt (as Aladdin)

UK Productions

2011: Dick Whittington

15th December 2011 - 22nd January 2012 

 

Cast
Jon Monie (as Idle Jack), Chris Harris (as Sarah the Cook), Naomi Wilkinson (as Dick Whittington), 
Richard Colson, Mark Moraghan (as King Rat), Laura Clements (as Alice Fitzwarren)

UK Productions

2012: Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

13th December 2012 - 13th January 2013

Cast
Jon Monie (as Muddles), Chris Harris (as Nurse Nellie), Nichola McAuliffe (as The Wicked Queen),
Laura Clements (as Snow White), Ben Harlow, Laura Whitefield, Jamie John

UK Productions

2013: Peter Pan

12th December 2013 - 12th January 2014

Cast
Jon Monie (as Smee), Chris Harris, Cliff Parisi (as Captain Hook), Jessica Punch (as Peter Pan), 

Joanna Forest, Amanda Jones, The Nitwits

UK Productions

2014: Cinderella

11th December 2014 - 11th January 2015

 

Cast
Jon Monie (as Buttons), David Ball and Byron Mondahl (as Ugly Sisters), 

Dani Harmer (as Cinderella), Melanie Walters (as Fairy Godmother), Owen Thompson,

Bobby Windebank, Richard Colson

UK Productions

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2015: Jack & The Beanstalk

10th December 2015 - 10th January 2016

Cast
Jon Monie (as Simon Trott), Katy Ashworth (as Fairy), Nick Wilton (as Dame Trott), 
David Alcock, Sarah Louise Day, Nigel Havers (as Fleshcreep)

UK Productions

2016: Aladdin

8th December 2016 - 8th January 2017

Cast
Jon Monie (as Wishee Washee), Bill Ward (as Abanazar), Mark Rhoades (as Aladdin), 
Nick Wilton (as Widow Twankey), Gemma Naylor

UK Productions

2017: Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

7th December 2017 - 7th January 2018

Cast
Jon Monie, Harriet Thorpe, Nick Wilton, Michael Quinn, Devon Elise-Johnson

UK Productions

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2018: Peter Pan

13th December 2018 - 13th January 2019

Cast
Jon Monie (as Smee), Paul Nicholas (as Captain Hook), The Nitwits,

Rebecca Wheatley (as Mrs Darling), Tim Edwards (as Peter Pan), Rachel Grundy

UK Productions

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2019: Beauty and the Beast

12th December 2019 - 12th January 2020

 

Cast
Wendi Peters, Ben Harlow, Jon Monie, Nick Wilton

UK Productions

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2021: Cinderella

16th December 2021 - 9th January 2022

 

Cast
Dani Harmer (as Fairy godmother), Jon Monie (as Buttons), 
Elly Jay (as Cinderella),

Nic Gibney and Duncan Burt (as The Ugly Sisters), Michael Chance, Chris Fearn, Josh Rose,

UK Productions

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2022: Aladdin

8th December 2022 - 8th January 2023

 

Cast
Jon Monie (as Wishee Washee), 
Tom Lister (as Abanazar), Nick Wilton (as Widow Twankey)

UK Productions

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2023: Sleeping Beauty

7th December 2023 - 7th December 2024

 

Cast
Jon Monie, 
Nick Wilton

UK Productions

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Posters used before being updated for main season

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2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2021

2022

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2024

2023: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

12th December 2024 - 12th December 2025

 

Cast
Jon Monie, 
Nick Wilton

UK Productions

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Progammes

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2006: Cinderella

It's an ill wind. The misfortune of Swindon's Wyvern Theatre, where asbestos in the auditorium means it is dark for the pantomime season and several months beyond, is putting bums on seats at several rival West Country venues - none more so than the Theatre Royal in Bath.

Here, just 30 miles further down the M4, director/comedian Chris Harris is already well established as pantomime head cook and bottle-washer, this time displaying his infectious sense of fun alongside the talents of another sturdy professional in Ruth Madoc. Together they bring a potent mix of joie de vivre and invaluable experience to some pretty familiar proceedings, even if Harris's Buttons does suggest collusion with Our Leader's insistence that, even in the below stairs service industries, we all must work to a greater age.

Harris is best known of course, for giving us his Grand Dame. Those outrageous costumes and hilarious nudges and winks are missed this time round, although in their place is the compensation of such classic pantomime routines as the balloon dance. Despite being slightly under used, Madoc's personality is big enough to support her claim that she is the only fairy in the village, while Mark Buffery, another Bath stalwart, teams with television presenter Jon Monie as spectacularly ugly Ugly Sisters, strong on audience participation. Gillian Budd's West End musical background shines through in the title role and Laura Darkins and Venetia Grivas are, quite literally, in splendid shape as Prince Charming and Dandini.

2006

2007: Aladdin

2007

Aladdin was first seen on the London stage as far back as 1788, although rumours backstage at the Theatre Royal Bath that the doyen of British dames, Chris Harris, was cast as the original Widow Twankey have been denied. It just seems that Harris has been delighting audiences at Christmas-time forever, with almost a decade as dame at the Bristol Old Vic followed by six years at Bath.

After a lower key than usual start this time round, he again combines his amazing wardrobe and warmth of personality with the role of director of a show that offers a whole raft of delights. Backing up Harris are two other locally-based players - Clive Mantle, who sheds his TV's heartthrob persona to cast his evil spell as the villainous Abanazar, and television presenter Jon Monie, a lively and likeable Wishee Washee.

Chris Till, yet another exile from television presenting, wins the teenage vote in the title role, opposite Laureen James's winsome Princess Jasmine. Rather like this country, there appear to be fewer policemen on the streets of old Peking than there used to be, but Byron Mondahl proves large enough in both high-octane mannerisms and size for two.

2008: Jack and the Beanstalk

2008

It is all of 20 years and more since Colin Baker became the sixth television incarnation of Doctor Who. Nevertheless, the recent revival of interest in the Time Lord ensures that his track record does not go unnoticed either on the Bath pantomime posters or during the largely traditional show itself. Baker, who makes the switch from cosmic do-gooder to equally flamboyant villain with some style as Fleshcreep, is even chased off the stage at the denouement by a young chorus member dressed as a Dalek.

Elsewhere, we are on pretty familiar panto territory, with the indomitable Chris Harris doubling as director and one of the very best dames in the land for the eighth entertaining year running. As usual, his Dame Trott is both a character study and a master class in female impersonation.

Everyone in the small cast has to work hard, with Jon Monie handling the slapstick comedy in infectious fashion as Simple Simon and Susan Penhaligon proving an absent-minded Fairy who seems to have strayed in from several other pantomimes. Lewis Bradley, in the title role, causes more than just Martine McMenemy's heart to flutter as the Princess, and Marcus Knibbs has more chances than usual to make his mark as the King.

2009: Sleeping Beauty

2009

When Chris Harris gathered up his dame's skirts ten years ago and decamped 12 miles down the A4, Bristol's loss became Bath's gain. Ever since he has presented an annual pantomime which, TV celebrities and video backdrops not withstanding, remains basically traditional fare.

As director - as well a chief cross-dresser - he has mastered the art of pumping up the audience volume and letting neither plot nor personalties interfere with the fun.

The simple story of a princess pricking her finger, sleeping for 100 years and being woken by a princely kiss is dealt with pretty swiftly so that Nurse Nellie's Harris, along with Tom Owen as the King and Jon Monie as Silly Billy can get on with their cake mixing, mirror dancing and other well tried jokes. In fact it is Buster Keaton-lookalike Monie who stands out.

Suspending members of the cast, including Good and Bad Fairies Liza Goddard and Gemma Bissix, on high wires together with screened animation provides a space age theme which culminates with Tim Bonser, as the Prince, fighting an aerial battle with a graphic dragon.

But in the end it comes down to the same corny jokes - some of them perhaps a little too lavatorial - and in delivering them Harris and co will always make you laugh.

2010: Aladdin

2010

Bath's Theatre Royal has magicked yet another genie-us feast of entertainment with this year’s pantomime production.

Director and perennial dame Chris Harris – Widow Twankey this year – is joined by Ricky Groves, the former Eastenders actor and 2009 Strictly Come Dancing Star, as Abanazar, and CBBC presenter, Trowbridge’s very own Gemma Hunt as Aladdin.

Somewhat slow to ignite, the performance truly sparks to life in the second half, with the action switching from the Magic Cave to Old Peking.

Act 2, after a clever introduction, produces a colourful and visual explosion of song and dance, and never relents amid a quickfire volley of gags and asides and a growing volume of hisses and boos for the villainous Abanazar.

In her first professional panto, Gemma Hunt produces a sprightly performance, and with a good voice to match, it suggests the TV presenter may well have more talent to offer.

Jon Monie (Wishee-Washee) once again works well with the audience and Widow Twankey in equal measure, while Kristian Phillips brings much humour to the role of PC Pong.

The infectious Busy Bee sketch between Monie, Harris and Phillips – the actors doing well to suppress a fit of the giggles – is a joy to behold.

2011: Dick Whittingham 

Once again, the Theatre Royal Bath is hosting the longest run of any professional pantomime in the region - a whole two weeks further into January than the Bristol Hippodrome, for example - and it can't be a coincidence that dame of dames Chris Harris is at the helm for the 11th year running. Cast numbers may have shrunk over the years, but the production standards remain consistently high and Harris' classic Sarah the Cook is probably equivalent to three characters, anyway.

Despite a health setback earlier this year, Harris is fit enough to direct, so you can be sure that tradition rules OK, although there is room for several topical Olympic Games gags along the way. It is good also to see a genuine principal boy in the title role, in the attractive form of children's TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson, while another player stepping impressively out of his television comfort zone is Holby City's Mark Moraghan, in fine voice as King Rat.

Jon Monie (Idle Jack) and Richard Colson (Alderman Boris Fitzwarren) slip easily into the comic routines, and there is pleasing support from Carrie Ellis (Fairy Bow Bells), Laura Clements (Alice) and Abigail Brodie (Tommy the Cat).

2011

2012: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 

2012

Theatrical all-rounder Nichola McAuliffe appears to be making the Theatre Royal Bath her second home. Here she is in flamboyant form as the Wicked Queen in Snow White, at a venue where her previous work has ranged from Carl Rosa Opera to Alan Bennett. Even more impressive, she will be returning in February as both author and star of a new nostalgic comedy, Maurice's Jubilee, for which she won The Stage Best Actress Award at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

This was, of course, Disney's first full-length feature film, but it has been staged at Bath only once before, 21 years ago. This may be because theatrical dwarfs tend to be in short supply at this time of the year. However, UK Productions has assembled seven genuinely small actors with a wealth of acting experience for this entertainingly faithful version of the Brothers Grimm fairytale.

Pantomime luminary Chris Harris directs and plays dame for his 12th successive year in Bath, ensuring that his Nurse Nelly teams seamlessly in the laughter stakes with local comic Jon Monie, who plays Muddles. Alongside them, Laura Clement (Snow White) and Ben Harlow (Prince) work hard to overcome their difference in height, successfully preventing their romance from becoming too sugary.

2013: Peter Pan

2013

It isn't always easy squeezing a traditional dame into Peter Pan, especially if you are following the JM Barrie narrative line pretty closely. However, the doyen of the species Chris Harris, now in his 13th year donning the frocks as well as directing at the Theatre Royal, Bath, fits like a well-worn glove. He alternates between Governess Gertie and pirate Ship's Cook, in a production that rises engagingly above its identity crisis over whether to be a musical or a pantomime.

None of the darker elements of Peter Pan have been jettisoned, whether it is Jessica Punch's lonely hero musing that to die would be an awfully big adventure, or Joanna Forest's demure Wendy suffering the pangs of first love.

In contrast, Cliff Parisi is more gentle than most as Captain Hook, despite being introduced to the pounding music of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Jon Monie, who plays Smee with a dead parrot on his shoulder, seems to be auditioning for the London revival of Monty Python's Flying Circus, and in a production more adult than usual, the speciality spot by the Nitwits, and the flying scenes from Flying By Foy, are particularly impressive

2014: Cinderella

If like thousands of families, a trip to the theatre in December or January is a family tradition, those heading to Bath's Theatre Royal in the next few weeks are in for a real Christmas cracker.

Tracy Beaker and Strictly Come Dancing finalist Dani Harmer stars as Cinders, giving a confident performance as the hard done by daughter whose hideous stepsisters keep her enslaved in the family home. Making those ugly sisters larger than life characters are David Ball and Byron Mondahl with wonderfully over the top costumes , ridiculous make up and plenty of slapstic gags.

Melanie Walters,famed as the omlette-making mum in television's Gavin and Stacey, takes up the wings of Cinders' fairy godmother and with a sprinkling of humour, she proves why she is in such a funny TV sitcom.

West Country comic Jon Monie returns as Bath's panto jester, this year as Cinders' loyal friend Buttons, and despite missing his long-running co-star, the late Chris Harris, Monie gives one of his best performances to date leading much of the action and interaction with the audience.

This year Bath has gone all out to impress with a glittering set and miniature Shetland ponies to transport Cinders to the ball. Young performers from the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dancing once again step up to the momentous challenge of pantomime, singing and dancing along with infectious enthusiasm.

Dazzling costumes, numerous put downs of Bath's least loved areas and a score of reworked pop hits including Taylor Swift's Shake It Off make for a brilliant two-and-a-half hours of pure entertainment guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Cinderella is one of Bath's finest pantomimes. See the show at the Theatre Royal Bath until January 11.

2014

2015: Jack and the Beanstalk

2015

Nigel Havers has turned up for the second year running as the headliner in a West Country pantomime, following his King Rat at Swindon last year. Now he is just down the M4 in Bath, playing Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk, one of the best shows in the region.

His sheer professionalism, plus more than 150 appearances as a baddie in Coronation Street, ensure high levels of hissability, but it is the all-round quality of director Michael Gattrell and his team of players that add up to a palpable hit. Set pieces and musical numbers are refreshingly original, as are the jokes (including an extremely funny, but also rather cruel, one-liner about Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins), while the cast match the very high bar set by Bath pantos down the years.

Despite a slow start - the first Jeremy Corbyn quip doesn`t surface for a record two minutes 34 seconds - Nick Wilton`s Dame Trott, Bath regular Jon Monie`s Simple Simon and David Alcock`s gentlemanly King are a first-rate comic trio. Meanwhile, children`s television cookery presenter Katy Ashworth sparkles as a scatter-brained Fairy, and David Barrett (Jack) and Sarah Louise Day (Princess Jill) manage to keep the mercifully few romantic interludes tuneful rather than sugary.

2016: Aladdin

2016

Aladdin chalked up more UK box office business than any other pantomime last Christmas. Some of its traditional strengths shine through in this Theatre Royal Bath version – with a second half in an altogether different enjoyment league from its earlier scenes.

First impression are unfavourably coloured by ditch-water dull sets of old Peking and jokes where the only highlight is cribbed straight from Dad`s Army. But when the second act curtain rises on the first of a number of lively production numbers, backed up by an exhilarating flying carpet scene, it is as if Loula Geater`s knowing Slave of the Ring has woven her magic spell.

Two of the most familiar characters in pantomime, Abanazar and Widow Twankey, suddenly spring to life in the experienced hands of soap opera regular Bill Ward and veteran dame Nick Wilton respectively, while Bath panto regular Jon Monie slots in much more comfortably as Wishee Washee.

Even children`s television presenter Mark Rhodes gets over the earlier suspicion that his Aladdin is being cradle-snatched by Gemma Naylor`s Princess Jasmine, while for good measures both the sets and the costumes appear to have discovered fresh sparkle

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