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Pantos aplenty.

There ain't nothing like a dame ( as the region's theatres are finding out with the return of the pantomime season. Here's your at-a-glance guide to the best of the region's Christmas shows

Cinderella, Newcastle Theatre Royal

From tomorrow until January 21

Contact: 0870 905-5060 or

Wor very own Jill Halfpenny leads the cast in a show promising the biggest, messiest slapstick scene in British pantomime history. Jill is the Fairy Godmother and is joined by Ugly Sisters Nigel Ellacott and Peter Robins, wearing some of the most flamboyant costumes ever to grace the Theatre Royal.

Puss In Boots, The People's Theatre, Newcastle

Sunday to December 18

Contact: (0191) 265 5020

More hissing and booing than ever before. Poor miller's son Pablo attempts to find fortune and love, aided by his faithful Puss Y Catto ( a cat on her eighth life. Sing-a-longs and damely comedy from the "best value show in town" from some of the best amateurs around.

Babes In The Wood, The Journal Tyne Theatre

From tonight until January 7

Contact: 0870 145 1200 or

Brendan Healy and the North East's popular pantomime legends Maxie and Mitch team up together once again. The babes are in danger from the Sheriff of Nottingham, but help is at hand from Robin, his Merry Men and the lovely Lady Marion. Also starring Byker Grovers Dominic and Alex Beebe, Sarah Lawton and Stephanie Constable.

How The Sea Came To Be, Newcastle Discovery Museum

Until December 31

Contact 0871 7000125 or

Here is the perfect opportunity for youngsters to take their first dip into the world of theatre. How The Sea Came To Be is a quirky but thought-provoking tale which is a real inspiration. Four seaside creatures: a crab, seagull, anemone and bird, live a routine existence, never questioning their monotonous and fairly useless jobs or the world around them. It's only the mischievous raven who is bright enough to ask for meaningful employment and wonder why it is that things are as they are.

Aladdin, The Customs House, South Shields

Until January 8

Contact: (0191) 454 1234 or

Ray Spencer and Bob Stott celebrate their 30th year on stage together in this Oriental extravaganza. It's proving to be something of a genie-us of a show with fun times had by all. Lots of lamp rubbing and all-out traditional Geordie fun.

Dick Whittingham, Empire Theatre, Consett

Thursday until December 29

Contact: (01207) 218171 or

Follow Dick and best friend Tommy the Cat's adventures as they wind their way through this seafaring, storm-filled, slapstick collaboration. Starring Martino Lazzeri.

Jack and the Beanstalk, Gala Theatre, Durham

Until January 6

Contact: (0191) 332 -4041 or

Rainbow's Geoffrey Hayes is the leading light in this panto.

Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates, Alnwick Playhouse

January 21 to28

Contact: (01665) 510785 or

This reworking of Robinson Crusoe's exciting adventures will be sure to keep the festive spirit alive well into the new year.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2005
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