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Swashbuckling show sails in to Cannock

Staffordshire | Entertainment | Published:

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum – it's time, me hearties, to set sail on the high seas and shiver some timbers in the search of buried treasure and grog.

You can't beat a bit of swashbuckling when it comes to tales of pirates on the high seas, and the panto at Cannock this year promises not to disappoint on that score.

Around 30 members of the Cannock Chase Drama Society will take to the stage later this month for a production of Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates after more than three months of rehearsals.

Despite being an amateur group, they hire their sets and costumes and have become known for their quality shows.

The panto will be their 17th at the town's Prince of Wales Theatre, although the group has been performing shows for the past 70 years. Actors and volunteers from as young as six to 60 will be taking part, both on the stage and behind the scenes.

An underwater shipwreck scene even features children dressed as sea horses and star fish – all family members of the cast – who perform a dance to Under The Sea from film The Little Mermaid.

Society chairwoman Julie Hunter, who will play Coral the Sea Fairy, said: "We've hired a bubble machine for that scene, too. Although we're an amateur group we try to make the production look as professional as possible.

"Rehearsals have gone very well, although the sea serpent's costume gave slight concern. The head is so massive it has taken same careful choreographing to make sure it doesn't wipe out half the children, who are on stage at the same time."

The society are also delighted with their dame, played by drama student Jamie Jones. "He's flambuoyant, and younger than most dames. In fact he's got better legs than most of the ladies," said Julie.

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The society, which started in 1945 and now puts on three productions a year, have changed their first night to Thursday, instead of Wednesday. The panto will run from January 28 to 31, with matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday.

They will be holding a fancy dress competition for the best pirate and best fairy at the early Thursday performance and both matinees.Tickets range from £8 to £12.50 with family tickets at £32.

To book tickets, contact the booking line on 07968 757820 or the Prince of Wales on 01543 578762.

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