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Norwich Theatre Survey Finds Panto Makes You Happy

It has been proven that seeing a pantomime makes you happy, following a survey conducted by Norwich Theatre.


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A survey by Norwich Theatre finds making a trip to the pantomime boosts your happiness.  

Key Findings 

  • 80% of those surveyed felt happier after watching a pantomime performance  
  • 85% of all respondents said that a visit to the pantomime is a key part of their Christmas traditions 
  • 50% of respondents said that this festive trip to the theatre was the highlight of the Christmas season 

Norwich Theatre’s study found that by seeing a pantomime at Christmas, the survey respondents experienced a significant boost to their wellbeing, with one in eight or 80%, feeling happier after the performance. With the unique comedy and humour (31%) being cited as the reason they like pantomimes the most, shortly followed by the set and the fantasy world created and the dancing. 

Pantomime is a uniquely British tradition and is as integral to some families as the Christmas tree and carols, with eight in ten people saying that a visit to the panto is a key part of the festive traditions. The reason for this popularity and the lynchpin of many Christmas traditions is pantomime’s accessibility. The very fact that it can be enjoyed by young and old alike makes the show engaging.  

Additionally, the survey found that pantomimes bring families together during the festive season, with 65% taking their children to a pantomime and 22% of respondents seeing a show with their grandchildren. Keeping the tradition alive across the generations. 

Chief Executive and Creative Director of Norwich Theatre, Stephen Crocker, said: 

“Panto, with all its colours, fun and humour can brighten up the darkest winter day and it is no wonder that panto audiences feel happier after they have attended a performance. 

“Pantomime for us is about cherishing tradition and always moving the art form forward. It is so important that when we bring families together at Christmas, particularly children and young people, that the stories we represent help in some way to explore what’s going on in the world. As well as joyful entertainment, pantomimes can enlighten and bring a sense of supportive community too.” 

Norwich Theatre produces its own pantomime every year, with 37,000 having watched last year’s show. Reflecting on the world around us as well as tackling big issues such as mental health is a key part of the Norwich Theatre pantomime.  

Actor, presenter, and mental health advocate Joe Tracini won the Special Recognition Award at the last 2022 Pantomime Awards. Tracini was recognised for changing perceptions and raising awareness of mental health through his pantomime performance and original pantomime song in Norwich Theatre’s Dick Whittington and his Cat. 

This year Joe will play Jack in Norwich Theatre’s pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. He will be joined by a stellar cast line up of Rufus Hound, Casualty star Amanda Henderson, EastEnders’ Dayle Hudson, Sally Hodgkiss and Britain’s Got Talent star Linda John-Pierre. 

Stephen Crocker added: “With this fantastic cast, Jack and the Beanstalk is shaping up to be a spectacular and exciting celebration that will be perfect for the festive season.” 

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