Temporary theatre at former Leicester bus station to stage Christmas panto - oh yes it is!
A special mobile auditorium is being set up to stage the city's first Christmas panto in almost 20 years.
Leicester company National Theatre Tents will be putting up a temporary theatre on the former Southgates bus station site, in the city centre, to stage a production of Jack and the Beanstalk.
The pavilion theatre, which can hold 550 people, can be built in just two days.
Bosses are hoping about 20,000 people will see the show over the festive period.
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Show producer and senior tent master Thomas Moore is billing it as "the most exciting pantomime Leicester has ever seen".
He said: "For the first time in 18 years, a fabulous, full-scale pantomime is returning to the city. We're not filling the stage with Z-list soap stars. Instead, we've cast some of the finest West End dancers, plus some of the most talented performers and musicians from around the world.
"The show has a confirmed and prominent site at a prime city centre location and we are excited to be able to welcome about 20,000 visitors to share in this magical Christmas adventure.
"The show we're putting on was staged in the Barbican in London four or five years ago, and in Bury St Edmunds."
The firm, which has previously worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, as well as stars including Eddie Izzard and Paloma Faith, is hoping to cast one of the nine main characters locally.
Mr Moore said: "We're still finalising contracts with a number of principal performers and we're going to be casting in the second week of November.
"Panto traditionally has a very short rehearsal period."
The last pantomime to be staged in the city was Cinderella, with EastEnders star Steve McFadden, at De Montfort Hall in 1994.
The venue announced last month that it would be bringing the traditional Christmas pantomime back in 2013.
Mr Moore said: "Our main operating base is in Beatrice Road, in Leicester, and we decided there was a gap in the market because a panto hasn't been staged in Leicester for such a long time. It was crying out for us to do it.
"We're also mindful that Christmas can be an expensive time of year and, as such, tickets start from a wallet-friendly £7.50."
Jack and the Beanstalk will run from December 14 to January 6. For tickets, visit:
What’s on: Line-up of Leicestershire’s
Hello Dolly! Curve, Rutland Street, city centre, November 30 to January 12
Grease: De Montfort Hall, Granville Road, Leicester, December 11 to 30
Robin Hood and the Babies in the Wood: The Little Theatre, Dover Street, city centre, 14 to January 5
Peter Pan: Peepul Centre, Orchardson Avenue, Belgrave, Leicester, December 10 to December 23
A Christmas Carol, the New Musical: Concordia Theatre, Stockwell Head, Hinckley, December 18 to 22
A Christmas Carol: Harborough Theatre, Church Street, Market Harborough, December 11 to 15, Plus, A Christmas Carol Concert, December 19 Only
Dick Whittington: Loughborough Town Hall, Market Place, Loughborough, November 24 to January 6
Aladdin: Melton Theatre, Asfordby Road, Melton, December 1 to 8
Brooksby Melton College Presents... Cinderella: @Melton Theatre, Asfordby Road, Melton, December 13 and 14.
Dick Whittington: Century Theatre, Ashby Road, Coalville, December 6 to 8.