FINAL rehearsals are under way for Holybourne Theatre’s pantomime performance of Dick Whittington.

This year, the cast are under the experienced direction of Alix Cazalet Forshaw.

The show opens on Saturday, January 27, at the theatre on London Road, Holybourne, for the first of seven performances designed to lift the spirit of audiences of any age.

Relying on a small army of dedicated volunteers to deliver a performance “to make you forget the the cold and wet weather outside”, theatre group spokesman Bob Yelland added: “It is proving a mammoth task to pull everything together on time but, if past performances are anything to go by, it is sure to be worth it.”

Dick Whittington is the tale of a poor boy making good – thanks to his clever moggie.

Mr Yelland said: “Come with us on a fast and furious romp through old London town to mysterious Morocco via exotic Basingstoke (and a shipwreck in shark-infested waters) in the company of a glamorous hero and heroine, saucy dame, singing mice, thieving rats, a mad Empress, and the best villain of them all… King Rat!”

The Holybourne Theatre pantomime has become an annual fixture for many villagers who look forward to cracking songs, an amazing spectacle, and lots of laughs.

Matinee shows start at 2pm on January 27, January 28, February 3, February 4 and February 10. Evening shows have been brought forward to 6.30pm on January 27, February 3 and February 10.

Tickets, available at £8 each with discounts for groups of four and five people, are available online at or from Wildly Upbeat Printers on John Trimmer Walk in Alton.