Peter Duncan has put together a pantomime in his back yard and it’s heading to cinemas in December – here’s the trailer.

The wonderful Peter Duncan has responded to the lack of pantomimes around this Christmas in British theatres in a marvellously Peter Duncan way.

It’s little secret that pantos – very much the lifeblood of a lot of theatres – have had to be cancelled around Britain this Christmas because of the fairly obvious reason you don’t need me to repeat. Likewise, for millions of people for whom going to the panto is a festive tradition, a further gap in their seasonal schedules was coming up.

Step forward Mr Duncan then, who over the summer reacted to the closure of theatres by filming a pantomime in his back garden. Over the summer, he brought together a production of Jack And The Beanstalk, that he’s directed and will take on the role of Dame Trott in. The sets were put together in his back yard, a cast was assembled, and the production was filmed.

Furthermore, he’s now contacted cinemas, and – assuming they’re allowed to open their doors in December as planned – Jack And The Beanstalk has been picked up by two UK cinema chains.

55 cinemas around the UK will be showing the panto, with the Everyman chain taking it from December 4th and Showcase Cinemas sites playing it from December 11th. More may yet sign up too.

What’s more, here’s the trailer to give a taste of what’s ahead…

We’ll leave you with the words of the mighty Mr Duncan himself:

“This really does feel like a fairy tale ending – and I have to pinch myself that our little film is going to end up being screened at 55 cinemas across the UK. When I had the initial idea for Panto Online, I naively though we might shoot a traditional panto guerilla-style on mobile phones, but that evolved and was upscaled as I recruited the cast and production team – who were all friends and colleagues I’d worked with before on other projects”.

“I’m thrilled that it gave work to 35 unemployed actors and freelance creatives. We are now rushing to finish all post-production work to ensure ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ is a wonderful cinema treat for those who prefer a group outing to join in the boos, cheers, shouts of ‘he’s behind yous’, a sing-a-long song and all the classic panto antics that families normally love in a theatre setting. There may be no 007 and Christmas may have been cancelled by all the studio blockbusters, but ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ is coming to a cinema near you to cheer us all up. Oh, yes it is!”

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