THE setting for the storyline may be in space but Abingdon Drama Club promises its new show will have all the hallmarks of a traditional pantomime.

Santa in Space, which comes to the Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon from January 15-23, has all the usual cast of characters that you would expect to see in a panto – a dame, principal boy and girl, damsels in distress and, of course, a dastardly villain.

However, the story is somewhat unusual.

The evil alien Vileun the Vile has only one more planet to conquer – Earth – and decides to blackmail its people by kidnapping the one person held so dear by the children – Santa Claus.

Captain Dick Daring leads the expedition party into space to bring Santa home in time to finish making all the toys for Christmas.

Director Susi Dalton explained: “The reason I picked this particular script was, having directed it once before over 20 years ago, I knew how well it worked.

“As this is my first pantomime with Abingdon Drama Club I thought it would be a good idea to bring something to the table I was familiar with.”

However, she said the 1980s script needed updating, with the cast having an input, adding: “The group read-through and casting was a delight. Cast and characters seemed to choose themselves. As any director will tell you, picking the right cast means half your job is already done.

“Rehearsals have been so much fun and with character names such as Vileun the Vile and Null and Void you can see why.”

Santa in Space will be at the Unicorn Theatre, Checker Walk, Abingdon, from January 15-23.

Performances will be at 7.30pm on Friday-Saturday, January 15-16, and Thursday-Saturday, January 21-23.

There will be a 2.30pm matinée on the two Saturdays, and Sunday, January 17.

Tickets are £10 or £8 concessions (people over 60, under 12s, students and drama club members), available from The Bookstore, 15 Bury Street, Abingdon, or call 0845 4636638.