IT’S that time of year again…. Oh yes it is!

The pantomime in Tenbury has opened and will run until Thursday, January 3.

It was a big moment when the curtain went up for the first time this week at the Regal.

This marked the end of many months of planning and weeks of rehearsal for the cast that is a combination of professional performers and people, including children, from the local community.

The pantomime attracts fans of the genre in Tenbury and the Teme Valley but also further away, from the Marches and West Midlands.

It now enjoys a reputation that goes well beyond Tenbury.

Tenbury’s Regal Theatre held auditions to cast their Junior Ensemble for this year’s pantomime, Cinderella.

The Regal panto is now in its fifth year and has become a huge annual event, last year attracting over 4,000 audience members.

Theatre Manager Adey Ramsel and Musical Director Ian Room went to London in the autumn to audition for the main roles in the pantomime.

“We have assembled a magnificent cast; when we advertised the principal roles, we had over 1,200 applicants and had to whittle them down and audition just 60 and out of this we have some amazing talent.

“The Junior Ensemble is really lucky to get the chance to work with and learn off these professionals.

“Our two choreographers, Leianne Jukes and Jack Ludwig are both well known in the local area and we’re all looking forward to a great show.”

Victoria Sye, who played Capucine in last year’s Beauty & the Beast, is returning this year in the role of Dan Dini.

“Victoria had a great time in Tenbury last year and was the first to put her hand up to return,” added Mr Ramsel.

“Dan Dini is a different sort of role from last year but she’s really looking forward to it.”

Cinderella runs to January 3 and there are performances twice a day on most of the days in the afternoon and evenings.

This year will also see a special relaxed performance.