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“We’re behind you!” - Benenden on board as York Theatre Royal sponsor

1st March 2016 

Benenden have announced their sponsorship of York Theatre Royal’s much-loved annual pantomime, which later this year will be Cinderella. Tickets went on sale this week (1st March) with panto dame Berwick Kaler and staff from both York Theatre Royal and Benenden welcoming queues outside the theatre, as loyal fans turned out to buy the best seats in the newly redeveloped auditorium. 

Lawrence Christensen, Group Marketing Director at Benenden, said:  “Pantomimes across the UK are a well-established tradition, with York Theatre Royal’s own long-running production garnering a deserved reputation for high quality and great fun.  An annual trip to the panto is a source of delight for all the family and plays a valuable part in boosting wellbeing and building community. York Theatre Royal has always been impressive with its links into the community and this resonated with Benenden who have a strong track record of its own when it comes to local involvement.  We’re proud to support the theatre for this year’s production of Cinderella and look forward to seeing Berwick Kaler’s 38th consecutive outing.”

Cinderella will be Berwick Kaler’s 38th consecutive year as dame when the production returns to York Theatre Royal’s main stage following a £6million redevelopment project.  Not only is Berwick the UK’s longest-serving pantomime dame; he also writes and co-directs the production. 

Berwick Kaler said of Cinderella: “It’s everyone’s favourite and it just seems fitting to celebrate the newly restored theatre with a title that has all the ingredients for magnificent sets and costumes, pathos, slapstick, inventive lunacy. For me personally this title is a bit of a downer – there is no role for a dame! So expect the unthinkable, I may well end up playing Cinderella!”

Damian Cruden, Artistic Director at York Theatre Royal added: “Delighted to be back in the building but is she still here?  Only kidding – can’t wait to do Cinderella with one of the best ‘uglies’ in the business!

The legendary pantomime is a York institution which has a loyal, dedicated fan base which stretches back through several generations of local families.  Tickets for certain productions are very much sought-after, with some die-hard fans choosing to sleep outside the theatre overnight to guarantee their favourite seats.  As in previous years, Berwick and the York Theatre Royal team were on hand to lift the spirits of the people in the queue and hand out tea and coffee. This year, they were joined by the team from York-based organisation Benenden, who are proudly sponsoring the pantomime for the very first time. 

For more information on the pantomime and to buy tickets visit the York Theatre Royal website. 

Ends 

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