Incredibly, the Dames have burst back onto our stages and glass slippers have been polished up and down the country- it’s Panto time again!

If you love pantomime, this is the most wonderful time of the year, and, in this region, we have some of the most wonderful panto performers.

Above everything else, this very British tradition will shake off your blues and put you in the festive mood.

As you read this, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Mercury Theatre has began its run, and has brought together again the glorious Anthony Stuart-Hicks as Dame Trott, Dale Superville as Jack, and Carli Norris returns to recreate last year’s most hilarious trio.

Last year’s Mercury panto was nominated for five Great British Panto Awards, so we are talking quality here. You’ve been besieging the box office for tickets, so make sure you don’t miss what could be another classic.

Over the border, the New Wolsey Rock and Roll Panto this year is Cinderella, returning to their very first Rock and Roll Panto.

Now as traditional as mince pies, the Rock and Roll approach provides the great joys of cheesy intros, the context the songs are put into, and an insanely talented cast of actor musicians.

Well worth crossing the border for, the (long) run as it goes on until February 2nd.

Just up the road from the New Wolsey, the Ipswich Regent presents Snow White, with a host of reality TV winners and runner ups and back in Essex, Peter Pan flies into the Princes Theatre, Clacton.

Led by X Factor runner-up Marcus Collins, who plays Peter Pan in this year’s Polka Dot Pantomimes production, Peter Pan starts its run this weekend from December 8 until January 1.

Most amateur companies seem to leave their Panto productions until early in the New Year, but the Nayland Players are staging their end of year extravaganza this week, which also involves a trip to Neverland.

Directed by Emma Wallis it starts tomorrow and runs until Saturday. For more info go to

Also this week are the glorious Headgate Theatre in Colchester who stage Aladdin until Sunday, December 9. You will have to go on the returns list as the run has sold out, but, from past experience, you’re in for a treat if you have got a ticket. Oh yes you are!