08 February 24

Parkwood Leisure, which operates four leading theatres across the country, has proven that pantomime season truly is back and better than ever, attracting a record-breaking 100,000 visitors in 2023, with the highest grossing net total ever made by the estate at nearly £1,800,000.

In a triumph for theatre lovers, Parkwood’s results show that the Pantomime tradition is still alive and well, with the theatres reporting hosting more first time family audiences and new and returning schools  to experience the joy of the seasonal show at all of its theatres.

The results, achieved at Parkwood’s theatres; The Hawth, Hazlitt Theatre, Castle Theatre and The Playhouse – showcase there is continued demand for the arts to play a crucial role in local community life, especially following the difficult pandemic years.

“Having a second record-breaking year in a row proves that there is value in investing in local arts and high-quality theatre experiences for local communities,” says Tony Doherty, Managing Director of Parkwood Theatres. “Pantomime production involves a whole year of activity in which we invest significant time and resources to create dazzling and joyous performances.. We work closely with our local council authority, incredible production teams and brilliant national and local talent to bring it all to life.”

2023’s collection of pantomimes at the local Parkwood theatres included family favourites with sweeping positive reviews and star-studded casts:

  • The Hawth, Crawley – Sleeping Beauty featuring Carrie Hope Fletcher, Andy Day and Michael J Batchelor. Production Company: Evolution Productions
  • Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone – Peter Pan featuring David Zachary, Stuart Ash, Ria Turner and Joe Melloy. Production Company: Parkwood Productions
  • Castle Theatre, Wellingborough –  Cinderella featuring Thomas Griffiths, Hayley Johnston and Francesca McKean. Production Company: Parkwood Productions
  • The Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare –  Dick Whittington featuring Linda Lusardi and Derek Moran. Production Company: Parkwood Productions

“We’re already thrilled to see the sheer volume of pre-sale tickets already booked for this coming year’s shows. Now that’s the power of Pantomime!” Doherty adds.

Since its formation in 1995, Parkwood Leisure has become famous for the development and operation of 75 leisure facilities across the country. The impressive portfolio also boasts a roster of visitor attraction centres, golf courses, heritage sites and theatres, all run on behalf of local authorities. Parkwood Theatres is always on the lookout for relevant sites and production teams to work with on future projects and shows.

To find out more about how you can get involved with Parkwood Theatres, head over to the website: www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk