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Published 5th Dec 2016

(L-R) Cameron Norrie, Jake Smithson, Jake Pront, Alex Sonley and Jonas Welburn

Armed with a sword and a feather in his cap, Jake Smithson is looking forward to playing the lead role in the Middlesbrough College panto.

The 17-year-old from Ingleby Barwick will be robbing from the rich to give to the poor in this year’s production of Robin Hood. 

The pantomime has been given a Teesside twist with plenty of local phrases and jokes, and features a few chart-topping tunes.

Jake is joined by Jonas Welburn, 17, and Alex Sonley, 18, who are playing King John and Little Joan - a modern take on Robin Hood’s legendary fellow outlaw.

Alex said: “The whole cast has worked incredibly hard to bring this show together, and it really has the feeling of Christmas cheer throughout.

“Since applying to Middlesbrough College I have been given so many amazing opportunities - the teachers are fantastic and every day is different. My course is varied and interesting and I look forward to coming in every day.”

Claire Teesdale, theatre manager and visual and performing arts lecturer, said: “Staging performances such as this give our students industry experience and knowledge of professional conduct.

“Students on Performing and Productions Arts courses are involved in 11 productions throughout the year; however the College pantomime is always where we have the most fun.

“It’s an incredibly talented cast and production team. From our production arts students who work on the staging, lighting and sound to our musical theatre students, actors and dancers who perform on the night- everyone is working flat out to make the show a complete success!”

With many of the cast members applying for stage schools and university places, Alex has dreams of entering the world of musical theatre.

“I’d love to perform on the West End!” she added.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive, said: “Every year the college hosts a panto, and every year the tutors and students surpass themselves, it just gets better and better.”

The panto fun kicks off on Wednesday, December 7th, and there are still tickets available.

Performances take place on December 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 at 7pm, with a matinee on Saturday, December 10 at 12 noon. Tickets cost £10 (£7 concessions) and are available from the College reception Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. Tickets are also available on the door before each performance.

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