Experience panto stories at home

Shorelle Hepkin and Richard J Fletcher in panto stories online


Paul Genty

12 Dec 2020

Oldham Coliseum's Panto Digital Storytelling puts characters in the spotlight online

If you are missing your panto fix then one of the region’s most popular pantomime companies, Oldham Coliseum, has a partial answer from today.

Until January 2 you can invite characters Cinderella and Dame Dotty Trott into your home for online storytelling sessions.

The characters tell their famous stories as you’ve never heard them before, namely from their own perspective, in Cinderella or Jack and the Beanstalk respectively.

The Coliseum’s Panto Digital Storytelling is pre-recorded video, a ticket for which offers a full day’s access to a solo retelling of a pantomime story from the perspective of one of the two characters – it’s not a full panto.

Cinderella features Shorelle Hepkin, reviving her character from the theatre’s 2018 show, while Jack and the Beanstalk stars Richard J Fletcher, who took over the dame role in 2019 after playing the theatre's panto comedian for several years.

Shorelle tells the “real” story of what happened at the ball and what her Ugly Sisters are like behind closed doors - with lots of familiar panto interaction to allow children watching to get involved at home.

Richard’s Dame Dotty Trott made her debut in last year's panto and reveals what really happened up the beanstalk - or what she thinks really happened. Again, there are plenty of chances for children at home to get involved.

Viewers will need a suitable online connection and a ticket (£10), which in practice covers a full “bubble” of viewers. The theatre says the shows are suitable for all members of the family.

See the Panto Digital Storytelling: Cinderella and Panto Digital Storytelling Jack and the Beanstalk pages on the Coliseum website for full details.

The Coliseum is currently enjoying relatively happy faces among casts and staff since its Crowdfunded “get behind us” appeal came to an end having raised £54,000 to help the theatre sustain itself until things get back nearer to normal. 

At present the theatre is still hoping to re-admit the public “early in 2021”.