Richmond theatre issues appeal for knitter panto props

Picking up their needles outside the theatre are (left to right) Jen Capewell, Caroline Mills and Ruth Lightfoot.

Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal has issued its annual appeal for knitters to help with preparations for its pantomime.

Each year, hundreds of knitted objects are incorporated into the show, sometimes as ‘missiles’ to be hurled by the audience at a specific point of the action or sometimes as elaborate decorations to adorn the historic building.

This year, the theatre is appealing for knitted or crocheted lightbulbs, which will be used during the 58 performances of Aladdin, taking place between Friday 6 December and Sunday 12 January.

The theatre’s knitting tradition first started in 2011, when over 1,000 bananas were knitted for The Adventures of Sinbad.

In the following years there have been countless snowballs, leaves, apples and doughnuts, culminating in last year’s spectacular giant knitted patchwork blanket for the set of Sleeping Beauty.

All have been enthusiastically knitted by members of the community with contributions being sent from all over the world.

“People love getting involved with the knitting and look forward to the moment when we announce what is going to be made,” said Clare Allen, theatre chief executive and director of Aladdin.

“It is a way that the whole community can get involved with the pantomime, months before the curtain goes up.

“People tell me that they take their knitting everywhere with them, on holiday or to knit in their lunch hours, and some even make a social occasion of it and hold knitting parties. I’m always amazed at how many we receive and how very generous people are with their time,” she added.

The theatre is hoping for as many lightbulbs to be produced as possible and all contributions are extremely gratefully received. Any surplus lightbulbs will be used to decorate the Theatre during the festive season.

Once the pantomime is over, the theatre always tries to find a good home for the knitted objects.

The knitted leaves and apples went to make displays at the RSPB nature reserve at Saltholme and the doughnuts made fun ball pools for local nursery schools. The knitted squares went to a church group and also made the wall of a house in a charity yarn bombing display.

A lightbulb knitting pattern can be picked up from the Box Office or downloaded from the panto page on the Theatre’s website:

Alternatively, people can make up their own designs and all colours and sizes are welcomed.

Finished lightbulbs should be handed in at the Box Office or posted to arrive at the theatre (The Georgian Theatre Royal, Victoria Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 4DW) by Saturday 30 November.

Aladdin runs at The Georgian Theatre Royal from Friday 6 December until Sunday 12 January 2020. Tickets from £10.50 to £22 are available from the Box Office on 01748 825252 or via the online booking service at