Rehearsals are now well underway for the next Royston Town Pantomime, presented by local drama group CADS, and it could be their biggest and most spectacular show ever!
The Little Mermaid is by Hertford-shire writer Warren McWilliams, who was also responsible for this year’s record-breaking Sleeping Beauty. It tells the story of Mariel, the little mermaid of the title, who visits dry land on her birthday and falls in love with the human Prince Derek. When the Prince’s ship is wrecked by the evil sea witch Octavia, Mariel saves his life but cannot let him know who she is. He awakens with only the memory of her voice and determines to find her. But Octavia tricks Mariel into swapping voices with her in an attempt to win Prince Derek for herself and rule as Queen on land.
CADS has been lucky enough to find a new director for the show in the person of Duncan Moore. Duncan is relatively new to Royston – he and his wife, the acclaimed writer Kate Moore, moved here with their son just over a year ago – but has a wealth of experience in London and elsewhere directing amateur and fringe groups in everything from Shakespeare to Sweeney Todd! Duncan professes a lifelong love of pantomime. “I’ve always joked”, he says, “that if I were a famous actor, I would always do panto, as there are very few genres that connect with an audience so immediately and on such an honest level.”
The full cast for The Little Mermaid can be viewed on the CADS website and with about 45 members in the show is one of the largest casts the group has assembled. There are, as usual, many familiar faces among them but, gratifyingly, there are also sixteen actors completely new to CADS, many of them among the juniors. Duncan and the technical team are promising some magical special effects along with the customary songs, dances, dreadful jokes and slapstick nonsense.
The pantomime will be performed as usual at King James Academy Royston (Senior Site) during the last two weekends in January 2024. Tickets go on sale at the KJAR Christmas Market on Sunday 26th November and will be available online the following day.