Daniel Bell, theatre producer and director at KD Theatre Productions, writes his first column for the Ely Standard.

Ely Standard: Daniel Bell says the panto team are working hard behind the scenes.Daniel Bell says the panto team are working hard behind the scenes. (Image: DANIEL BELL)

As we find ourselves at the start of November, the nights are drawing in, and the winter chill is starting to emerge.

It's a time when our thoughts turn to Christmas, and for many theatre companies like us across the country, that means one thing – pantomime season!

Especially in our beautiful city of Ely, panto is as traditional as a turkey on Christmas day.

For those who've been part of our audience at The Maltings over the past decade, you'll know that every year, we strive to outdo ourselves. This year marks our eleventh year, and yet the anticipation and excitement still makes me nervous.

Behind the scenes, costumes are being meticulously crafted, and the final touches to the sets are being applied.

Our creative team is tirelessly working on sound, lighting, and final edits to the script to ensure that the show is a magical experience for all who attend.

And who says panto is just for children? I speak to some adults around the area who say to me ‘oh we used to come, but our children have got older now!’

The best thing about pantomime is that it is for ‘everyone’! We have groups of adults who decide to come without their children, as they enjoy it just as much (or want a night away from the kids)

But that's not all the exciting news. This year, we're teaming up with Ben's Yard to create a pop-up theatre that will play host to our Santa Show.

This 45-minute interactive performance, suitable for young children aged two to six, is sure to put smiles on many children on the run up to Christmas.

And the best part? After the show, you can meet Santa himself, making it an unforgettable experience for the little ones.

We promise to make this festive tradition bigger, better, and more magical than ever before.