AN ICONIC Romsey theatre is aiming to stage their annual pantomime, it has been revealed.

Volunteers at the Plaza Theatre, Winchester Road, have already started planning their January 2021 pantomime - 'Jack and the Beanstalk'.

The shortened "COVID-ready" show, co-written by Bob Heather and Georgette Ellison, will feature "romantic leads [who] are never allowed to touch" and a King rushing on stage to remind everybody of social distancing rules, according to a volunteer from the Romsey Amateur Operatic And Dramatic Society (RAODS), Kevin Cornmell.

Producer, Georgette Ellison, said putting on the much-loved show won't be easy however, he added: "[I am] determined that somehow we will put either a live or filmed panto on in January."

This comes after the RAODS chairman, Alan Rimmer, thanked the public for helping them smash their £10,000 fundraiser "well within the month", which will help the group protect their reserves for the Plaza Theatre’s Future Project.

This will see the roof extended to create a higher building as part of their £550,000 plans.

Now the £10,000 target has been raised, RAODS will look to see if they can boost the funds to £20,000 in a bid to cover their running costs.

So far more than £14,000 has been raised towards the community asset.

As reported, the Plaza was forced to close due to coronavirus meaning the theatre’s income has plummeted for months.

The appeal is part of a national campaign, which was started by Theatres Trust and would have run for 28 days in total.

To donate to the cause, visit

The Plaza was built in 1931 as a 400 seat cinema.

But, after it closed the building was used for several years as a bingo hall, until that also shut down in the early 1980s.

The theatre was then bought for £150,000 and alterations were made to provide a 246 seat theatre which is a hugely popular venue.