Festive favourite Dick Whittington will be performed at The Harlington in Fleet this Christmas
The red carpet was rolled out as Fleet launched its first Christmas pantomime at The Harlington on Monday.
Starring television star Jeremy Edwards, various West End names and 36 schoolchildren from the area, it is hoped Dick Whittington will be the first of many families pantos in the town.
The launch marked a big change in fortunes for the arts theatre, because until a couple of years ago it was all set to close forever.
It was only the intervention of Fleet Town Council that saved the theatre and together with manager Alex Robins, they are gradually turning it around into the bustling community venue it should be.
Amanda Goldthorpe-Hall from Fleet is the driving force behind the town’s first pantomime and directs and produces the show under the name of Tastic Entertainment.
With a background in West End theatre, including The Sound of Music at London’s Palladium, she will also play Fairy BowBells in Fleet’s forthcoming panto.
The cast met for the first time in costume at Monday's launch and performed a one-off taster show to dignitaries to get them in the festive spirit.
Former Hollyoaks and Holby City star Edwards is playing Alderman Fitzwarren in his third panto.
He said: “Pantomimes are one of the hardest but fun jobs you can do.
“We get about eight to 10 days to learn the script but everybody, on stage or in the audience, is there to have a good time.
“I will be wearing some extravagant costumes but I feel it makes a big difference when getting into character.”
Tickets for the show cost £17.50 for adults and £16 for children, and are available from The Harlington box office on 01252 811009.