PANTO fans in South Tyneside are flocking to see Dame Dotty in her final hurrah.
More than 25,000 people have already snapped up tickets to see Bob Stott’s last turn as the madcap character in this year’s Customs House Pantomime, Dick Whittington.
Bob, who has been treading the panto boards for 37 years, will take his final bow as Dame Dotty on January 6, and the news has already got people clamouring to see him one last time.
Customs House executive director Ray Spencer, MBE, who also plays Dame Dotty’s son Tommy, said: “Bob is a master at what he does.
“In another life he would have been a top comedian, and it will be sad to see him go.
“We’re all thrilled the audience are coming to see the pantomime and enjoying it so much, but it’s more than that – you can tell they feel they’re part of something in helping to say farewell to our lovely Dame Dotty.
“She’ll be a huge miss and I’m going to miss the back-stage banter as well as the craic with the crowd on stage.
“One reviewer put it perfectly, saying ‘The Customs House is such a lovely, intimate venue that you feel you actually know these people and you are spending an evening with great friends who make you laugh’.”
With more than three weeks left of the run, Dick Whittington looks set to smash last year’s record, which saw 27,000 tickets sold for Aladdin.
Ray added: “It seems fitting we should have a record year in such a big year for the Customs House pantomime.
“Not only is it Bob’s last Customs House panto and the end of our 37 year partnership but it’s also the beginning of something special with our Swedish actors Mia and Ola.”
Mia Wallin and Ola Karlberg were invited to South Shields to take part in pantomime, a tradition which they do not have back home in Sweden.
It is hoped after six weeks they will take the British custom back to their homeland.
* Dick Whittington runs until Sunday, January 6.
Tickets start at £8 and are available from The Customs House box office on 454 1234, or go to www.customshouse.co.uk.