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16 Years In The Making

Here's a little gallery of Panto's past.
In the beginning.


PR Productions was established back in 2001 by Paul Gibson & Ray Durkin ready for their 2002 production of Aladdin. Along with Rob Hiatt they had already written and performed 3 of their own original Panto’s at the Civic Hall in Bedworth but the time was now right for the trio to move on and try something a little more adventurous and for this new venture they chose the Abbey Theatre in Nuneaton.  The Abbey theatre is an amazing venue but has limited space on stage and off but their unique style of presentation enabled the trio to create some of the most spectacular set pieces ever seen in Pantoland; be it the entire village of Hamelin in the Pied Piper, Nemo’s Nautilus being attacked by a gigantic Squid in Dick Whittington or Dame Dotty Spottybottom hurtling through a mine shaft in a cart at 60 miles per hour and then bursting onto the stage in a blaze of pyrotechnic fury in Snow White, and while we’re on the subject of Snow White, who could forget the first time our 7 Dwarfs stepped (Knee slid) onto stage back in 2008?  Due to the care, wit and enthusiasm employed in the creation of the company’s 16 Pantomimes as well as gathering the most incredibly talented cast and dancers it is no wonder that they created quite a storm and gathered an enviable reputation both far and wide, receiving five star reviews year after year and selling out long before the curtain had ever risen.



So what made them so different?


It’s fair to say that most pantomime scripts are a little less than perfect.  We wanted to steer clear of all the old tropes and routines, and whilst tradition is a very firm anchor in panto it is our belief that to fill a show with the same 4 or 5 routines every year and just add a pile of pop songs and Disney tunes is just a bit lazy.  To this end, and the ace up our sleeve, was to call on Andrew Mackereth who created a completely original score for each of our 8 scripts, that’s just over 100 songs in total and each and every one of them an absolute belter. He wrote both the music and the lyrics and each song is so wonderfully integrated with the script that the storys around which we wrap our panto are so clear and tangible that they become the driving force of our shows.



We wrote 8 scripts and then rotate the 8 we wrote.  


After 8 years and 8 new scripts we decided to return to our original version of Aladdin, update and tweak it a bit here and there and then put it on again.  We did this for all 8 of our scripts, adding here, cutting there and trying to improve on what we’d done originally but after going around for a second time and having done 16 years we felt that we’d done everything we could at the Abbey and pushed it to the limit so it was decided that we’d call it a day for the time being and announced that the company was coming to a close.  Well that was almost 8 years ago and as the years rolled by it became apparent that we really did miss it all and so began to look for another venue that would allow us space to grow and create brand new and exciting pieces of work.  So we’d had our eye on the Civic Hall for some time and then the unthinkable happened, Covid struck and the venue closed its doors for good.  


So here we are!


Following the enormous effort and astonishing commitment of the Bedworth CIC the Civic Hall is now opening its doors once more and we are delighted to be producing the venues Christmas pantomime this December.  It feels like we’ve returned to our roots having written our very first version of Jack and the Beanstalk for this very stage back in 1996.  How can that be 28 years ago???????  We promise we’ve updated the jokes so why not join us for the most entertainingly outrageous, family friendly night you will spend at the theatre this year.

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