This Christmas Teddington Theatre Club excitedly announces its new production of the classic pantomime, Dick Whittington and his Cat, premiering on Boxing Day. I know what you’re thinking: ‘How could this possibly work in a time of masks and social distancing?’ Well, who better to take us through it than the director himself, Marc Batten?

‘It was difficult as the guidelines kept changing, so there was no guarantee we’d be able to get enough people in the theatre. We eventually decided to record the whole thing in advance and stream it on the TTC YouTube channel.’ Unusually though, this year’s panto will be audio only – essentially like listening to an audio book or podcast. 

Of course, it hasn’t all been baubles and tinsel. The rehearsals had to be online, interestingly both a curse and a blessing. ‘I miss seeing people in real life but auditions were much easier,’ Marc admitted. ‘We made auditionees turn off their cameras so we could focus on their voices, which meant that people with regional accents had an advantage, since you need variety when it’s just audio.’ 

Marc has one final message for us: ‘People always used to sit round the radio together at Christmas. We’re hoping our audience will be able to go back to that tradition and just listen to it as a family.’ 

If your festive appetite has been sufficiently whetted, then tune in at 11 am on December 26th  - the link to the trailer is Oh yes it is!