LP Creatives has been running panto in Shoreham for eight years and is keen to prove that size doesn’t matter. Jamie Walker spoke to Tom Beard from the company about the 2018 show.

You’ve been running panto at Ropetackle for a number of years now. It must be nice to have developed a reputation locally?

It’s great. We never take it for granted and work hard on it because we don’t want to disappoint anyone.

We take the original tales and don’t miss out on any panto fun or magic, but I do like to intertwine various plots and it ties up nicely at the end.

It’s great with a story like Robin Hood where what you do isn’t set in stone.

This year there’s loads of crazy stuff; robots, morris dancing, a bit of Guns ’n’ Roses mixed in with Cliff Richard, it’s going to be great.

So what is the plot of the show this year?

The Sheriff of Nottingham is up to no good, he wants to get rid of Robin Hood at all costs.

Across the various acts he has some devilish plans, he’s an inventor and, without giving too much away, he comes up with various ways to try and get one over on Robin Hood.

Is it nice to put twists on a classic story?

We thrive on that as a company. We like to put our spin on things.

We put a lot of time and effort into making it an emotional journey.

We’ve had people cry in our pantomimes.

We have stuff for the kids but lots for the adults.

Your promotonal material talks of a “full,

theatre-style, setting”. Tell me about that.

What we’ve done previously is that the stage is very simple.

We had to build a frame for it and make it look presentable.

We’ve gone all out, so it looks like a full stage set.

There will be the same seating set-up but visually it’s going to be amazing.

It will be more like a theatre than an arts centre.

You also mention that the size of the venue doesn’t make a difference on how professional the show set-up is. Is it a common misconception to take a show on face value based on venue size?

I think if you take somewhere like the London Palladium then you expect something amazing, based on what they spend.

We have quite a small theatre, but we invest a lot in our costumes and sets.

Our cast and crew, and production values, offer amazing value for money and that’s what keeps people coming back.

What makes panto so popular?

I think it’s family, tradition and something people can look forward to.

It stretches back nearly 100 years and it’s something people can do to take them back to their childhood.

You can join in or just live vicariously through your kids’ reactions.

Why is this the panto to see?

We have a great cult status at Ropetackle and I think personally that this is the best show we will have put on there.

Robin Hood is a panto that doesn’t get done as much and I think it’s something different to come and see.