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Selladoor launches panto company to bolster its expansion

Selladoor bosses Phillip Rowntree, left, and David Hutchinson, right.

Theatre company Selladoor Worldwide has announced further expansion, with the launch of a new pantomime producer.

The theatre company – which earlier this month moved into venue management [1] – has teamed up with Immersion Theatre to launch Prime Pantos. It will produce shows in venues across the UK, tailored to local audiences.

The venture aims to “reinvigorate the genre” by modernising the form and “working with some of the UK’s most exciting creatives”.

There are currently 10 titles in the company’s catalogue, including Snow White, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, with an inaugural season to be announced in the new year.

Selladoor’s first pantomime, Aladdin, is currently running at the Broadway Theatre in Catford, where Prime Pantos will launch on December 12.

Selladoor Worldwide chief executive David Hutchinson said: “As a regional theatre producer, we understand the importance of the annual pantomime for the sustainability of regional theatre – but also as an opportunity to bring first-time attenders to the theatre.

“If we can give our first-time patrons the night of their lives, they’ll soon become our core audience and help to develop engagement in theatre.”

Immersion Theatre was founded by James Tobias and Rochelle Parry, alumni of producer-training programme Stage One, in June 2010, and is currently producing Seussical the Musical at Southwark Playhouse in London.

Artistic director Tobias said: “We are incredibly excited to create bespoke, modern pantomimes that introduce young audiences to this unique style of theatre while respecting the traditions this art form is built on.”

Prime Pantos has also announced that Lee Waddingham, former artistic director of production company Paul Holman Associates, is to join the company as producer.

Seussical review at Southwark Playhouse, London – ‘a colourful production’ [2]