Sleeping beauty cast at Wyvern Theatre

Panto season seemed a long way off in the late summer sunshine at Stanton House Hotel where Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre held their press launch for Sleeping Beauty on 18 September. But the bright colour of panto will soon be on us and tickets are already selling well with over 10,000 seats snapped up.

Jan Hull from VisitWiltshire went along to the press launch at Stanton House Hotel to find out more about this year's panto...

The lovely gardens at Stanton House Hotel at Stanton Fitzwarren were created in the 19th century by the renowned garden designer, Gertrude Jeykyll. With their flower boarders, sweeping lawns and walled garden, they made a great backdrop to the cast’s colourful costumes and makeup.

Stanton House Hotel

Sleeping Beauty runs from 7 December to 5 January and stars Michelle Collins (Eastenders and Coronation Street) who plays the evil Carabosse. Chris Jarvis, a familiar face on children’s BBC, plays the lovable Muddles, and Matt Rixon is the Dame. It is directed by Daryl Back who is delighted to be back at the Wyvern Theatre where she has produced many shows over the last 15 years. “It is a pleasure working at the Wyvern” says Daryl, who is looking forward to bringing all the cast together in her very musical but otherwise traditional pantomime.

In contrast, this is Michelle Collin’s first visit to the Wyvern and in the little free time she will have during a hectic performance schedule, she is looking forward to exploring Swindon and Wiltshire.  

Daryl said: “I am absolutely delighted and very excited to be working with Michelle once again.  She will make the most formidable Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty and I know both Michelle and Chris will love performing in Swindon.”

The Wyvern Theatre is in the heart of Swindon and is a great venue for panto with 635 seats, bars and a newly opened restaurant. It’s perfect for families and this production of Sleeping Beauty is set to be another record-breaking pantomime which will be a bit of an escape for all.

If you're planning a trip to Swindon to watch the panto this Christmas, there are plenty of other things to see and do in the area! Head to McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon for all your Christmas shopping needs, with festivities kicking off on 9 November - expect sparkling decorations, a festive market and visits from Father Christmas and his elves. There will also be extended opening hours over the Christmas shopping period. For a fun family day out, STEAM - the Museum of the Great Western Railway is the place to go. Children and adults will both love getting up close to magnificent locomotives, being a signalman and driving a steam train simulator! Or, why not visit the stunning Palladian house at Lydiard Park, where you can explore elegant state rooms, an ornamental 18th century walled garden and pretty parkland. 

Photos: Top image - Anthony Hunt | Second image - Jan Hull

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