Wrexham: Chirk panto crew overcomes issues ahead of February show

A CHIRK-based pantomime group has faced a few bumps along their way towards their annual production of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, but they are ready for the show to hit the road.

Chirk Pantoholics are returning to the stage after the pandemic put their show on pause for the last three years.

But it has not been smooth sailing for the crew who say they have been faced with a lot of red tape surrounding the music copyright owned by Disney.

John Gibbens, production director, said that it has been ‘a nightmare’, as before the pandemic they were asked to provide all these documents and then told they do not need them anymore.

He continued: “We thought that we don’t need all the passports and the other documents, as three years ago they made us collect them for nothing.

“All this red tape is really a nightmare, very frustrating.”

The production was meant to have the beloved song Let It Go, from Frozen, but they were not allowed so they switched to a Black Eyed Peas.

Furthermore the production also struggled with licenses for children, as it requires a 16-year-old girl to be chaperoned.

Mr Gibbens said: “I found it a bit absurd, she is 16, and she needs a chaperone with her at the show.

“If this was about a nine or eight-year-old it would’ve made more sense.”

Fortunately, the girl’s sister will take over the role as a chaperone, so that issue was solved.

Now the production only needs a couple more people to help backstage.

“It’s not heavy work,” Mr Gibbens said “Anyone can do it, it’s all about moving some chairs and taking care of some curtains.”

Despite all the bumps that the crew has had to face, the sales started at the beginning of January, and they are going great, according to Mr. Gibbens.

There will be shows every day from February 21 to February 25, from 7pm until 9.30pm, at Chirk Parish Hall.

“We usually have a full house on the first and last day of the show, the hall’s capacity is around 200 people,” added Mr Gibbens.

“But on other days we reach 175 to 180 people.”

The group operates on a donation basis, doing a lot of fundraising, with all the money from the show’s tickets going into improvements of the props and hiring the hall.

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