Christmas show under new direction

Getting ready to begin the scripting process for this year’s Christmas pantomime are Purveyors of...
Getting ready to begin the scripting process for this year’s Christmas pantomime are Purveyors of Ominous Productions members Megan Holden (left) and Jess Young. PHOTO: CONNOR HALEY
A new theatre group has been handed the sleigh reins this year with a plan to bring a fresh outlook to Timaru’s annual Christmas pantomime.

With the blessing of Aidan Theatre, the Purveyors of Ominous Productions will take full control of the end-of-year tradition after previously working together on last year’s production of Hansel and Gretel.

Purveyors of Ominous Productions co-founder Megan Holden said she was excited to bring something new to the table.

"We want to go slightly away from the more traditional pantomime. We want to adapt that idea slightly, not entirely but we definitely want to crack the mould a bit.

"We are heading in the direction of a Christmas whodunit, a Christmas Cluedo kind of thing.

"We want to shift away from the traditional fairy tales and create something more original."

Mrs Holden will be joined by her husband Shaun and fellow Timaru theatre stalwarts Jess Young, Sarah Prentice and Luke Robb for the project.

They met last month to begin working on the script.

Ms Young said she could not wait to get started.

"The cool thing will be getting to play a big part in the production side, from the writing of it to the music and all that stuff.

"We all have a really good grasp on what image we want and that’s without the experience we have in theatre and panto, so we should all be able to collaborate nicely."

Mrs Holden said it was great to have had somewhat of a trial run last year.

"We kind of started the transition with Aidan Theatre last year but we weren’t really going to plant the seeds until this year. We wanted to make sure we didn’t stand on anyone’s toes or anything like that.

"It’s really exciting but it is scary at the same time. It is the first time so the pass over was kind of handy. We can have big ideas and stuff like that and if we can make even half of that work it will be awesome."

The group hoped to complete a first draft of the script as soon as possible with an eye to hold auditions for the pantomime around September or October.

They were also looking at seeking sponsorship from local businesses to help with lighting, sound and venue hire costs with microphones for the children’s top of the Christmas list.

Anyone wishing to get involved with Purveyors of Ominous Productions or assist with sponsorship can get in touch with the group at