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It's panto time ... oh yes it is!

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

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IT is that time of year again when women play men, usually in tights, when fairy godmothers grant wishes and when evil stepmothers get their comeuppance.

Panto season is hurtling towards us and while London's Wimbledon Theatre may have Priscilla Presley and Cardiff's New Theatre might have bagged Joe Pasquale, don't despair.

Swansea has Chico, and elsewhere in the Swansea Bay area a family-sized serving of entertainment is lined up.

Here is a round-up of the knockabout and festive theatre heading to a stage near you.

Swansea's big one, Cinderella, is launched in a hail of glitter and tinsel tomorrow at Swansea's Grand Theatre.

Chico will give his all as Prince Charming, with Mike Doyle and Kevin Johns adding some comic seasoning. Performances go ahead at 2pm and 7pm, with some at 6pm too. Check ahead with the venue.

Class Act Theatre School awakens an annual favourite — the magical tale of a princess and a curse, Sleeping Beauty.

That one plays out at Pontardawe Arts Centre, opening tomorrow too,

at 7pm.

Its director Jill Williams says: "This is a fabulous family pantomime about the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty who had a spell cast on her on her 16th birthday when she pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep. Only a kiss from her handsome prince can break the spell."

Sleeping Beauty runs until Saturday, December 22.

Llanelli's new Ffwrnes theatre celebrates its first Christmas with a lamp, a genial genie and a charismatic street urchin.

The Friendship Theatre Group takes on Aladdin from January 5 until January 20.

Denny Twp, Brandon Ashford and Greg Arthur feature.

Briton Ferry Little Theatre go to town on Aladdin at the town's community hall on January 26, 27 and 28 at 7pm, and then at 5pm on January 29.

One man and his cat set off on an adventure in Carmarthen's Lyric Theatre when the curtain goes up on Dick Whittington from tomorrow. Big-voiced entertainer Peter Karrie is joined by Lloyd Davies, Ruth Peterson and Callum Small for that one, with the show on until December 24.

Take two children, a mystical flower and a search for happiness and you have the Mess Up The Mess panto The Snow Seekers.

On at Ammanford's Miners' Theatre The tale follows Gwyn and Eira on a journey through a world of wintry enchantment, from tomorrow.

Performances are at 1pm and 7.30pm tomorrow, at 7.30pm on Saturday and 1pm on

Sunday.

The same venue welcomes Cinderella from next Saturday. Bullied by her two ugly sisters, Cinders' future looks bleak until her Fairy Godmother casts a spell and sends her to the ball. The show unfolds at 1pm and 3.30pm.

Cinders is a popular girl this year, with Neath's Gwyn Hall hosting her too.

You will have to wait a little longer for this one, with Neath Operatic Society putting on the show from Thursday, January 3 until Saturday January 12 at 7.15pm, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2.15pm.

Princess Royal Theatre rings the changes with Babes In The Wood, which ventures into the forest on January 18, running until Thursday, January 31.

In the classic good versus evil boo- hiss pantomime, Robin Hood is the hero and the Sheriff of Nottingham is the wicked guardian of the babes, Hannah and Harry. Along the way we meet two hapless robbers who in return for a reprieve on a sentence try to lose the Babes. Unfortunately for the robbers, Robin Hood is on hand to help them.

Helium-voiced comic Joe Pasquale plays it for laughs as Muddles at Cardiff's New Theatre at the moment.

He stars in Sleeping Beauty now until Sunday, January 20.

Ceri Dupree goes to town as Queen Passionella, Lucy Evans adds some glamour as Princess Beauty and 3D special effects add another dimension.

Joe does have a few nights off, on January 6, 13 when the part of Muddles will be played by Barney Harwood from CBBC's Blue Peter.

The Lost Boys ride again in Peter Pan, on now until January 5 at Cardiff's Sherman Cymru. Performances are at 2pm and 7pm, with Joshua Considine, Rebecca Newman and Russell Gomer.

A Welsh language version of Cinders goes to the ball at Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre from Sunday. December 16. Martyn Geraint's Sinderela visits the Weston Studio for two days for a high-energy show.

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