Lorraine Chase, this year’s Wicked Witch in Wyvern Theatre’s pantomine Sleeping Beauty, was in her most sweet and friendly mood at the switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights.
With help from town crier Fred Ferris and the Mayor and Mayoress, Lorraine plunged a big red button to switch on the lights and launch a ‘snowstorm’ and fireworks to the delight of hundreds of people.
Also on hand were a host of local celebrities and sports stars, including Danny Wilson, Manager of Swindon Town FC; as well as Robins’ goalkeeper David Lucas; speedway stars Leigh Adams and Alun Rossiter; and ice hockey player, Swindon Wildcat, Ryan Aldridge. Local mascots Willie the Wildcat, Rockin’ Robin, Allie the Alligator, Willy the Wyvern and the Speedway Rhino joined their pal Pudsey Bear.
“I’m really looked forward to coming to Swindon for the panto,” said Lorraine. “I’m a lovely person but you’ll see a different side of me when I come on stage. I like being wicked from time to time. But I’m no method actor, I don’t have to stay in the role throughout the run of the show, it wouldn’t do my reputation any good at all.”
Lorraine will be joining the cast in early December to start rehearsals before the curtain rises on Saturday 12 December. The show goes on until Sunday 10 January and tickets are on sale from the box office on 524481.
Santa has set up shop in The Brunel until 23 December to hear the wishes of kids of all ages. Entry to the grotto (on the Arcade upper floor) costs £2.50 and includes a present for every child.
Wharf Green, where this year’s Christmas tree is located, will feature a seasonal themed Farmer’s Market on Friday 11 December.
inSwindon’s community carol concert takes place on 17 December, 6.30pm next to the tree. The Salvation Army will provide the live music and public participation is welcomed. Song sheets, roast chestnuts and mulled wine will be available on the night.
Between 18 and 20 December shoppers in Wharf Green, the Parade and Regent Circus will step back in time to experience a Victorian Christmas. The event will give visitors the chance to learn more about traditional arts and crafts, such as decoupage and candle making, and indulge in some last minute retail therapy.
Simon Jackson, inSwindon’s chief executive, said Swindon is the place to shop for Christmas. “There’s something for everyone to enjoy this year. The retailers are pulling out all the stops for a bumper Christmas.With keenly priced parking, free Thursday evening bus travel, family entertainment and traditional treats on offer, we think this will be our best Christmas ever.”