What’s on the Spalding stage

Phil Norton as Smee with the rest of the cast.
Phil Norton as Smee with the rest of the cast.
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A regular column from South Holland Centre in Spalding.

On the eve of the opening performance of Peter Pan, we caught up with director and panto comic Phil Norton to talk about his career and all things panto.

Phil Norton in the director's chair.

Phil Norton in the director's chair.

We’ve missed you in Spalding at panto-time! Where have you been?

I’ve been with Polka Dot Pantomimes in panto-land. After four years in Spalding I was invited to direct and tread the boards at Grantham Guildhall and Stamford Arts Centre. I’m pleased to be back at South Holland Centre where it all started, and this time I’m directing as well as playing Smee.

Panto takes place for a very busy three weeks in December – what are you up to the rest of the year?

I own a theatre company called Starbright Entertainments and we tour shows all over – we’re currently working on The Railway Children for 2016. I also tour marionette puppet shows to schools, as well as teaching at the Spalding Academy of Theatre Arts.

How do you manage to juggle directing Peter Pan as well as playing the comedy character Smee?

I’ve been directing and appearing in Polka Dot Pantos for three years now and it gets a little easier each time. Peter Pan has got to be the best panto story.

Is there anything extra special to look out for this year?

That would be giving it away but just to say that you can’t have Peter Pan without any flying can you?

Do you have a message for the audience?

Please join in! Peter Pan is the story of the boy who never grows up, so release the child within you.

Peter Pan continues at South Holland Centre until New Year’s Eve. For details of performance times visit southhollandcentre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01775 764777. Merry Christmas!