If you go down to the woods today you're in for a big surprise. A big, bold and brilliantly festive surprise, as Elysia Agnew discovers...


Is it even Christmas without a bit of panto fun? And we can safely say, nowhere does it quite like Newcastle’s Theatre Royal. Whether it’s a festive treat for the whole family, a highlight on your winter calendar, or just something that gets you in the merry mood, it’s a must and it has taken centre stage for festivities in the North East for some time. Best-loved for its dazzling displays, sparkling costumes, giggle-worthy gags and most importantly, its local talent that has us bursting with pride year-in-year-out, there’s nothing that makes us smile more as we wander into the festivities. This year, audiences can expect mind-blowing circus acts, heaps of cheeky innuendos and Geordie jokes aplenty.

Clive, Danny, Chris and co. are back, and they’re wandering into the woods this winter, sprinkling silly shenanigans and festive cheer as they go. The traditional tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is brought to life on stage with added sparkle, sequins and circus acts.

Goldilocks, Danny the Clown, The Ringmaster and Dame Rita Rington team up to save Daddy Bear, Mammy Bear and Baby Bear from Baron Von Vinklebottom’s cruel and corrupt circus. But will the Rington’s Circus team save the day and deliver ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’?


Our favourite father-and-son duo, Danny Adams and Clive Webb, return to the stage with more hilarious slapstick and high-energy sketches than ever before! This year, Danny excels in his silliness as The Circus Clown and Clive suits up as The Ringmaster. It’s Clive and Danny’s fourteenth year on the Theatre Royal stage and once again, their treats, tricks and tales remind us why we love this pair of panto heroes.

Danny and Clive are joined on stage by fabulous fixture, Chris Hayward as Dame Rita Rington, who returns every year with dazzling costumes, daring jokes and a trademark diva attitude.

Steve Arnott is back as the best baddie in town (Baron Von Vinklebottom), and Michael Potts returns to the stage with his silent but side-splitting humour as The Circus Idiot. The lovely Laura Evans is a gorgeous Goldilocks with her soft, sweet voice and infectious smile, and Wayne Smith plays the hunky ‘star of the show’, Starbuck. Special mention goes to Peter Peverley, Christina Berriman Dawson and Reece Sibbald as the Three Geordie Bears, who have us chuckling throughout with their on-point accents and cheeky local side-jokes.

The soundtrack, stunts and set design raises the bar once again this year with nail-biting circus acts that have us on the edge of our seats. Those watch-between-your-fingerstip viewing moments are brought to us by International Circus Acts: The Skating Medini, The Berserk Riders and The Great Juggling Alfio; all of whom make this perfect panto experience as memorable as it is mesmerising.

What a cast, what an orchestra, and what a wonderful creative team behind the scenes. For all of which, we give thanks to Director, Michael Harrison – our Newcastle panto hero every year, without fail.


This show has everything you could possibly want from a pantomime – and more. Clive and Danny have the audience on their feet throughout – whether that’s to applaud a sensational circus act, a belly-laughing gag, a spectacular show tune, or for a bit of audience interaction – “the bit we all love to hate” – as described by Clive. There’s a real family feel about this production; the cast are here to have fun too.

Expect the glitziest costumes to date (Chris Hayward steels the show), thrilling circus acts that will leave you with so many questions, adorable animals and belly-laughing fun from start to finish.

The circus set is stunning. Big bulbs light up the stage, bold colours keep things Christmassy, and tricks and trap-doors keep us on our toes.

The grand finale is the usual colourful celebration, bringing whoops, claps, cheers and standing ovations from the stalls all the way up into the gallery. Once again, reminding us why the Theatre Royal’s panto production is a prominent fixture in our festive celebrations!


Everyone looking for a dose of festive family fun in the North East. It’s the best-selling panto in the UK and there’s good reason for it! Perfect for families and friends of all ages – all rounding up this winter to experience the magic of the panto. With silly sketches to keep the kids entertained, and cheeky jokes to make the grown ups giggle, there really is something for everyone.


Showing now, until 20 January 2019. Book your tickets!

Related Stories