The Roses Theatre pantomime breaks box office records

Snow White has broken box office records at Tewkesbury's The Roses Theatre, with sell-out performances of the hilarious show helping to secure its future in 2023.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published

The Roses Theatre's 2022 pantomime, Snow White, has broken box office records to become its best-selling panto ever.

The laugh-out-loud show achieved sell-out performances throughout its run, with its unprecedented success helping to secure The Roses Theatre's future in 2023, following two years of uncertainty due to the pandemic. 

With a script from BAFTA-winning Birds of a Feather writer, Maurice Gran, and writer of The Roses' popular Almost series, Nick Wilkes, the show gave Snow White a witty and modern twist - featuring the evil Queen Malvinha stripping Tewkesbury of its natural resources in pursuit of beauty; a mischievous interactive talking mirror called Reflexa; a heart-warming romance between the palace's IT guy Ted Hacker and eco-warrior Jim Cutter; and a side-splitting performance from Jolyon 'Jon' Dixon as panto dame, Nanny Mac. 

The Roses Theatre's head of marketing and programming, Caroline Lawrence, said: 'We are all quite stunned – it was difficult to predict how this year was going to pan out but Snow White has exceeded our wildest expectations.

'A great panto needs a cast that genuinely get on well and have fun together on stage, bright and colourful costumes and sets, near constant music and dancing, and a sharp and witty script. This year’s show has had it all, including a superb children’s chorus - this incredibly talented group of local young people have been the icing on the cake!

'The financial impacts of Covid on the last year’s panto and our box office in 2020 were fairly disastrous to put it bluntly. The arts industry was the first to shut down in early 2020 and among the last to reopen in 2021. We were able to put on a socially distanced show in December 2020, and we did manage a whole run of King Arthur in 2021, but sales hadn’t fully recovered by then, and we were grateful to receive funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund to plug the gaps.

'Pantomime is absolutely crucial for all theatres, not just The Roses, with the income from the festive season sustaining us throughout the quieter summer months when the industry slows down a bit. 

'This venue is so much more than just a stage or screen. We are home to many community groups and clubs and for some people, a trip to a group here is the only time they will leave the house that week. Venues like The Roses also have a huge impact on the local economy – an economic impact study a few years ago showed that our visitors collectively spent over a million pounds in local shops and restaurants that year, so ensuring the sustainability of The Roses is so important.'

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