Croydon will be getting its full dose of Christmas cheer this December with Petite Pantos’ pantomime Eunice! A Musical set to hit Stanley Halls next week.
Following a challenging year for the arts sector in which many theatre companies have been forced to cancel shows due to coronavirus restrictions, Petite Pantos and Stanley Halls have collaborated to present a Covid-safe, socially distanced production for the entire family to enjoy.
Eunice! A Musical promises a magical adventure this Christmas as it follows eponymous protagonist Eunice – who was born a horse but knows she’s another animal at heart – through her uplifting journey of self-discovery.
Producer Amée Smith said: “Given the year everyone’s had, I think it’s so important to have something you can look forward to and enjoy that is purely about entertainment and having fun, regardless of what show it is.
“But I think what’s special about this production in particular is that it’s one that reminds you that value comes from who you are – from what’s in your heart – rather than from what society defines you as.
“This is particularly meaningful for us at a time when so many of our colleagues in the arts sectors have had to re-think careers and are having to ask themselves, if they can’t define themselves by their job titles, who are they? What is their value in society?
“This show says, ‘you’re still you!’ And you’re fantastic how you are.”
Eunice! A Musical‘s production team has had to adapt certain elements of the pantomime to ensure it falls in line with the government’s Covid-19 rules and guidelines.
Amée Smith explained how they have structured the onstage spacing of the show with these requirements in mind, resulting in every character staying a metre apart at all times.
She admitted that this means the cast has had to forgo some of the usual slapstick and physical humour that pantomime is known for.
She said: “We’re still putting panto elements into the show – as we think that’s part of what people really enjoy at Christmas – but we’re hoping that what we lose in the physical contact you normally see on stage is made up for with songs, music and dance routines that convey the play’s messages.
“It’s been great working with Stanley Halls to achieve this as everyone there has been very on the ball with the constantly changing guidelines and rules.
“They’ve helped us feel completely safe.”
Venue Director Dan Winder said: “After what has been one of the hardest years for all of us, we believe it has never been more important to provide the people of south London with a safe space to enjoy themselves – and somewhere for families to take their children for some fun.”
He added that the significant size of Stanley Halls, with its 10m high ceilings, generous entrance foyers, and wide stairways, made it easier to create a Covid-secure space and low-risk environment.
The venue has introduced hand sanitiser at all entrances, socially distanced seating plans, one-way systems, and routine cleaning.
Eunice! A Musical is running from December 19 – December 24.
You can book tickets and find more information here.
And you can read about a Vauxhall pantomime here.