Behind the scenes at a panto costume check

With just 17 days to go until the first performance it was time for the final chorus costume checks. The Parish Hall was a hive of activity with over twenty performers each making up to five costume changes. I would have expected the atmosphere to be hectic and fraught with anxiety, but in fact it was very calm with all the performers used to changing in the confined space of a shared dressing room.

The sewing machines were whirring away in the corner making the final touches to the costumes. I even got roped in to thread elastic through yellow shoe covers for the penguin outfits. I was very impressed with the ingenuity of the costume designs. A group of performers in plain black t-shirts and leggings were magically transformed into a huddle of penguins by the simple addition of helmets, bibs and show cover, and colourful elfin caps for Santa's helpers have been fashioned out of old t-shirts.

There was a minor panic when there appeared to be two penguin bibs short. Two more bibs were quickly created by the sewing team, only for the original missing bibs to turn up five minutes later. Cast members were also warned not to rely on velcro fixings for their grass skirts - we don't want any 'wardrobe malfunctions' on the opening night!

I even spotted Mrs Claus at one point, but apparently there is still a Santa outfit to be tracked down...

This is going to be a very colourful and lively show, the perfect family entertainment for February Half Term with shows from Wednesday 15th through to Saturday 18th February. Tickets are selling fast but are still available from