Wigan Little Theatre's new panto will be the literary swansong for late WLT legend
and live on Freeview channel 276
For Jack and Jill, which hits the stage later this month will be the last to have been written by WLT legend Bill Collins.
The 83-year-old, who for decades penned the company’s pantos and often played memorable dames in them too, passed away in May.
But not before he had written this year’s production and family have given permission for it to be performed.
It’s a great tale set in Nursery Rhyme Land where some very strange and disturbing events are causing concern to its good citizens.
Could Belladonna the evil witch be behind all the calamities which have occurred?
And will Jack and Jill discover what she has hidden in the magic well?
It’s a fairytale is full of song, dance, silliness and loads of laughter, with a bit of audience participation along the way.
A spokesperson for the theatre said: “It’s a poignant moment in the life of WLT as this treat was completed by the writer, Bill Collins just weeks before his sad death.
"Bill was a WLT stalwart, legendary panto dame and prolific script writer. He was responsible for creating Wigan’s traditional pantomimes for decades.
"We are fortunate that his family have given permission for us to perform the panto which Bill intended for our 2023 season.
"Bill is still profoundly missed here at WLT, but his presence is all around us and his legacy will be forever treasured.
Jack and Jill is directed by Katie Davis who said: “I was delighted to be asked to direct the pantomime this year. Initially I worked Bill.
"It’s a big responsibility but I feel I have the credentials to carry it through.
"I became a member at WLT 49 years ago when I first appeared on stage in The King and I. I’ve I since appeared in plays, musicals and pantos over the years.
"Twenty years ago, I worked with Bill in Cinderella as Prince Charming when Bill and the late Colin Hurst played the Ugly Sisters. It was so much fun, and the experience of panto is like no other.
“The whole process of directing panto has been incredibly enjoyable and challenging, but with the help of Chris Boyle as production assistant, Elaine Delaney as PA and Pprops team leader, Caroline McCann as MD and Dianne Halliwell as choreographer I have received great support and the whole experience has been so much fun.
"I also have to mention our Dame, John Churnside AKA Churny. John’s experience and talent has been a fantastic help to me.”
Jack and Jill runs from November 30 to December 16.
Book at wiganlittletheatre.co.uk or on the 24-hour telephone booking service – 0333 666 3366