Queues round the block at Wimbledon Panto auditions


Search for a Star initiative visits Wimbledon to seek out the stage stars of tomorrow.


By Dominic Martin

HUNDREDS of children flocked to the New Wimbledon Theatre this weekend to audition for its Christmas pantomime, Aladdin.

The auditions were part of the Robinsons Search for a Star initiative, a collaboration between Robinsons squash and First Family Entertainment, which is seeking out the pantomime stars of tomorrow.

Kevin Wood, chief executive of First Family Entertainment and head judge said: “Essentially, the kids are here to have fun.

“The auditions are great because they encourage kids to leave behind the video games and TV and sign up to dance schools.

“Robinsons’ involvement in this year’s production has been brilliant.  It gets more people involved in local theatre. We also have a lot more money for things like costumes.

“All the kids are winners here. They got up this morning and selected themselves.”

Philip Joel, choreographer and dance captain for the show said: “We’re looking for performers with personality. Charisma and stage presence are very important.

“It’s a great bunch of kids here today. I’ve seen lots of smiley faces.”

Elise Nichol, 9, from Westminster was one of the many children queuing up to audition.

She said: “I love acting. You can be anything you want to be on stage. I’m always singing in front of the mirror at home with my hairbrush.”

Georgia Cook Mackenzie, 13, from North Cheam was successful in the auditions.

She said: “It’s my birthday today. I’m so pleased to win, it’s really made my day.

“I enjoy being on stage and having my parents watch. I’m going to be very busy over Christmas!”

Rehearsals start on 16 Nov and the run begins on 5 Dec, with a special guest appearance from Brian Blessed.

For more details on Robinsons Search for a Star, go to


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