It’s panto season once again at the Lyceum in Sheffield.
It was in the early 1930s that the theatre became the traditional home of panto in Sheffield, taking over from the Theatre Royal when it was destroyed by fire in 1935. But at first they cast proper actors rather than ‘stars’. It was after the Second World War that the idea was born of bringing in big names, mostly from the world of radio comedy, to the city over Christmas – including Jewel and Warris, Frank Randle, Ken Platt, Morecambe and Wise (coincidentally in Dick Whittington, this year’s show), Harry Secombe and Frankie Howerd. Fifty years ago, in 1964-5, the panto attraction was Humpty Dumpty starring comedian Ted Rogers (long before his days as host of TV’s 3-2-1) as Simple Simon and Yorkshire-born crooner Ronnie Hilton (whose heyday was the Fifties) as Tommy Tucker seen here ringing the bell.