A PANTO that promised a barrel load of swashbuckling fun on the high seas has now sailed off into the sunset – leaving a lot of very happy people in its wake.

Shaldon Theatre Company presented Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates at Pavilions Teignmouth at the end of last month with a colourful production that kept the time-honoured tradition of pantomime with a few modern twists.

‘We had close on sell-out shows for all performances and our audiences really loved the show’, said Jackie Prior, chair of Shaldon Theatre Company and director of this year’s production.

‘When you get comments from people saying it was better than some of the professional shows they’d seen you know you’re doing the right thing – which isn’t bad for a local amateur company without a permanent stage!’

As well as all the traditional panto ingredients the show boasted a flying turtle (called Franklin), a flying fairy, Robinson Crusoe doing amazing acrobatics and a clever piece of projection work that saw a ship sinking and cast members under water.

‘Everyone involved from the cast on stage, our musicians who played live for each performance and the hardworking crew behind the scenes all gave it 100 per cent,’ continued Jackie.

‘And of course audience reaction was brilliant. When an audience get behind a panto performance it just carries the cast along too.’

The company also performed two additional charity performances for people with physical and learning disabilities.

Both of these relaxed shows were sell-outs and offered people who wouldn’t normally experience the thrill of live theatre to enjoy the show.

But as one production ends thoughts turn ahead to the next one.

And it seems next year’s production could be something rather exceptional.

‘We will be celebrating our fortieth anniversary in 2024 so we are planning something a bit different ’ added Jackie.

‘It’s all under wraps at the moment but something special will be in the offering.’

The company is always on the look out for new members - either those happy to tread the boards or working backstage.

Anyone interested should contact the company via their social media page at www.facebook.com/shaldontheatrecompany