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Pantomime at Eden Court in Inverness was among best in UK in 2023, oh yes it was!

By Philip Murray

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Eden Court in Inverness.
Eden Court in Inverness.

A much-loved Highland pantomime is in the running for a major UK award after it made the final shortlist.

Eden Court’s annual pantomime is up for best script in the annual Pantomime Awards, which are organised by the UK Pantomime Association.

The 2023 production of Sleeping Beauty was written by Eric Potts and Steven Wren and produced by Imagine Theatre.

It faces competition from in-house productions of Jack and the Beanstalk in Stratford East and Aladdin in Stirling's Macrobert Arts Centre, as well as Marlowe Theatre and Evolution Productions’ version of Aladdin at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, and Joy Productions’ take on Jack and the Beanstalk at the Broadway Theatre in Catford.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in G Live in Guildford on June 18.

Imagine Theatre, which is up for eight awards in total - with the other seven being for different productions elsewhere in the UK - said it was “delighted to have received eight nominations in this year’s Panto Awards”.

Responding to the news, Eden Court said: “A big congrats to all our fellow nominees!”

Simon Sladen, chairman of the UK Pantomime Association, said: “We can’t wait to celebrate pantomime excellence at The Pantomime Awards in June at G Live. The pantomime industry has such a wealth of talent, which we’re proud to recognize and champion. Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you to everyone who keeps audiences entertained up and down the country each festive season.”

Andy Knights, CEO and Lisa Stead, COO of Stagecoach Performing Arts, said: “We are very excited to be the headline sponsor at this year’s Pantomime Awards. At Stagecoach Performing Arts, we take pride in seeing the positive impact that the arts can have on the lives of children and young people.

“For many, pantos are the first introduction they will have to theatre, and this can spark a lifetime love of, and engagement with, the arts. We know many of our students, and many of the adults that are a part of the Stagecoach community, will have been in the audiences of the nominees and we are looking forward to celebrating all the winners at the ceremony!”

Founded in 2021, the UK Pantomime Association (UKPA) is a charity that explores, shares and celebrates pantomime by investigating the genre’s rich past, engaging with contemporary practice and inspiring the future. During the 2023-24 pantomime season, the third year in which the Awards have taken place, UKPA’s 70 judges had their biggest year ever, collectively visiting 259 venues to see over 728 performances, far and wide across the United Kingdom.

The Special Awards, which celebrate productions representing the values that the Association seeks to promote, as well as an award for Outstanding Achievement, are also to be announced at the ceremony.

Tickets for The Pantomime Awards 2024, which will feature live performances, celebrity presenters and the winners’ announcements, are now on sale through G Live’s Box Office: https://trafalgartickets.com/g-live-guildford/.

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