PANTO-lovers are being invited to ‘let their hair down’ at Sinodun Players’ latest production.

The amateur group is staging Rapunzel for two weeks at the Corn Exchange, Wallingford – one of two pantomimes in the Herald area getting under way on Friday.

The Sinodun Players are promising that young children, teenagers, parents and grandparents will be captivated by this traditional tale of how a handsome prince rescues his beloved from her lofty prison cell by climbing up her long hair to reach her.

The path of true love never runs smoothly and he must overcome prickly obstacles to achieve his goal, but there will be fun along the way, thanks to an array of colourful characters including witches, a dancing robin, silly gnomes, ghosts, courtiers and pretty fairies.

And it will not only be lovely Rapunzel and her dashing Prince Roland – played by Poppy Jackson and Annabelle Buckland, respectively – in the limelight, but cleaner Mathilda Mop – with David Simmons as the production’s dame – adding a twist to the tale.

Like any good panto, the audience will have lots of opportunities to boo, hiss, laugh and sing – and even clap, sneeze and quack – according to the group’s members.

Rapunzel’s director, Marilyn Johnstone, said: “Sinodun Players are well known for their excellent pantos.

“We may be an amateur group, but our pantos are as good as any you would see professionally – and a lot cheaper! Apart from the cast, we have a superlative technical crew and I can guarantee that audiences will be very impressed with the special effects we have in store for them.

“Come along and enjoy.”

The panto is one of several productions being staged this year by Sinodun Players – who are owners, managers and operators of the 176-seat Corn Exchange.

Performances of Rapunzel take place at Corn Exchange, Market Place, Wallingford, from January 15-30 (Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinée at 2.30pm.

Tickets cost £10 (Tuesdays-Thursdays), £12 (Fridays and Saturday), or £6 for children, available from the box office 01491 825000.

Meanwhile, Abingdon Drama Club’s panto Santa in Space also starts on Friday.

Santa will go head-to-head with alien villains in the quirky production at the Unicorn Theatre, Abingdon.

In the story, Vileun the Vile will capture the man in red as part of his quest to conquer Planet Earth.

Director Susi Dalton said: “Rehearsals have been so much fun and with character names such as Vileun the Vile and Null and Void you can see why.

“I purposefully did not prepare much of the script because I wanted the cast to have as much input as possible.”

Santa in Space, written by Paul Reakes, will run at the theatre from Friday, January 15, until Saturday, January 23.

Tickets are available from The Bookstore in Bury Street for £10.