Tonbridge panto at EM Forster Theatre Robin Hood and his Socially Distanced Merry Men will take place this Christmas

Another Kent panto has confirmed plans to run a socially-distanced show this Christmas.

Tonbridge's EM Forster theatre says the show will go on and plans to bring the curtain up on Robin Hood and his Socially Distanced Merry Men.

The cast of Robin Hood
The cast of Robin Hood

Performances will take place between December 18 and January 3 whilst the theatre's initial planned extravaganza Beauty and the Beast has been postponed until 2021, and all ticket holders have had their bookings transferred to next year.

Those behind the new production say they hope to bring some panto magic to families after such a 'difficult and challenging year'.

It is one of a number of theatres, including The Stag in Sevenoaks and Gravesend's The Woodville, which are making plans for panto productions this year that meet all of the required government guidelines. But other big productions including shows at The Orchard in Dartford and The Marlowe in Canterbury have postponed shows until next winter.

The Marlowe Theatre says it could not begin rehearsals this winter and put on performances because of coronavirus
The Marlowe Theatre says it could not begin rehearsals this winter and put on performances because of coronavirus

The EM Forster auditorium is described as a flexible space which will allow for safe social distancing in both bubbles and family groups with the cast, including some who already live together, will also keep their distance both during rehearsals and on stage.

Duo Michael Fenton Stevens and Tom Swift return to play Dame Tuck and Silly Willy Scarlett alongside Tonbridge Favourites Ed Wright as the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham and Amanda Swift, making a welcome return as Maid Marian.David Young returns as Little John and making his Tonbridge debut From CBBC’s Andy and the Odd Socks Stewart McCheyne plays the lead role of Robin Hood.

Tom Swift, from Wicked Productions, said ‘We have managed to create a show which keeps audiences, and everyone on stage and backstage safe. In fact, it has allowed us to introduce hilarious elements into the production because of the need to maintain the romance despite the social restrictions!’

"We are thrilled to still be able bring some well needed fun and Merry men-t to families this Christmas after this difficult and challenging year. The cast we have managed to get together are all so brilliantly talented and have been hugely supportive to make this happen."

Tickets are £19 and are now on sale via the box office on 01732 304241 or online at www.emftheatre.com

For more suggestions of things to do with the kids this winter please visit www.mykentfamily.co.uk

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