PANTOMIME season is almost well underway with a large number of impressive shows to chose from.

Each year actors and entertainers, including those big stars, don their favourite panto costumes and characters for our amusement.

So here are the pick of the Essex pantos which we believe are more than worth a look.

The team at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon is proud to present the family adventure paved with gold – Dick Whittington.

Following the five-star, record-breaking success of Snow White last festive season, the latest show promises to be even bigger and better than ever before.

Basildon’s loveable panto star, Simon Fielding, will be returning to the stage with more madcap mayhem and side-splitting silliness as Silly Billy.

And the hugely-talented Sophie Ladds will be back as everyone’s favourite baddie as she takes on the role of the dastardly Queen Rat.

The Towngate’s pantomimes are fast becoming the jewel in the crown of Essex, and are renowned for stunning scenery, colourful costumes, dazzling dancers and a fantastic live band.

Every performance is a non-stop, musical spectacular that is not to be missed.

With Dick Whittington’s ticket sales already breaking all previous box office records, and with limited availability on a number of performances, it’s highly recommended that you book now to get the best seats for what promises to be another award-winning production.

Dick Whittington runs at the Towngate Theatre, Basildon from Wednesday, November 27, until Sunday, January 5, 2020.

To book tickets, call the box office on 01268 205300 or book online at

Southend’s Cliff Pavilion is set for another stunning show as, world-famous dance troupe, Diversity, will return to star in this year’s Christmas pantomime.

The 2009 Britain’s Got Talent winners, who headlined Aladdin last year at the Cliffs Pavillion, will again star in this year’s Robin Hood and the Merry Men performance.

The group, from Wickford, will perform this December, alongside comedian Kev Orkian, who also reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2010.

Paul Driscoll, marketing manager at Cliffs Pavillion, said audiences will need to buy their tickets as soon as possible before they’re sold out.

He said: “We would strongly urge that people get their tickets within the next couple of months.

“We sold every ticket last year.

“Early indications are that the same will happen again but even faster than before.”

Last year’s Aladdin pantomimes sold out almost immediately, with the Echo reporting that the production looked set to be record-breaking before the performances had even begun.

Mr Driscoll added the theatre is delighted to welcome back Diversity.

He said: “The lineup is even stronger this year than in previous years.

“There will be spectacular dancing and hilarious comedy with Kev.

“Comedy is a strong selling point so we’re really pleased Kev is performing here.

“We’ve got the best of both worlds.

“Daniel Boys, who has played Ebenezer Scrooge before, is also back again this Christmas.”

Recalling last year’s shows, troupe leader Ashley Banjo said: “Last year was so amazing.

“Not only was it really fun, it sold in record numbers and people really enjoyed it.

“So, we were asked to come back again and it was a case of why not, it was great.”

Fellow dancer Perri Kiely added: “They do really good cinnamon swirls downstairs!”

Expect gravity-defying, dizzying dance routines of Britain’s foremost street dance troupe as they lead the Sheriff of Nottingham a merry dance through Sherwood Forest, robbing from the rich to give to the poor.

Tickets range from £23 to £45.50.

For tickets, call the box office on 01702 351135.

More streets will be paved with gold for, Dick Whittington at the Thameside Theatre, Grays, from November 29 until January 5.

This year’s purr-fect pantomime sees the Thameside Theatre once again teaming up with Polka Dot Pantomimes to present a new spectacular festive show.

You can expect the usual mix of crazy characters, awesome adventure, singing, dancing, villainous baddies and heroic goodies with a little bit of feline flavour thrown in for good measure. Love Island and Dancing on Ice’s Wes Nelson stars as Dick Whittington.

For more information and tickets call the box office on 0845 300 5264.

The high-flying classic show Peter Pan, will be swooping into the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, from November 29 until January 5.

The classic family show will invite audience members to fly with Peter, Wendy, John and Michael to Neverland and meet the brave Lost Boys, the fearsome Tiger Lily and friendly Smee as Peter Pan takes on his old enemy - the dashing but villainous Captain Hook and his band of dastardly pirates.

Tickets for this show are priced £24.

For more and tickets, see

Families are set to be wowed by Robin Hood at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, this Christmas.

The show will hit the stage from November 28 until January 5, with arrow slinging hero Robin emerging from Sherwood Forest to outwit the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.