Performers are busily rehearsing and final preparations are being made ahead of this year’s pantomime in Halstead.

The Stane Street Players will be performing Old King Cole at the Empire Theatre next weekend.

Jackie Card, of the Stane Street Players, said: “Rehearsals are in full swing now for our pantomime. The group will be donating a share of any profits to Macmillan Nurses.

“Jackie Parish, our group chairperson, who is also the director and producer of the current pantomime, has chosen this particular charity by way of a thank you for all the help and support she and her family received last year, so we are really hoping to make as much profit as we can."

This year’s production is Old King Cole - after the king decides it is time he found a wife, the town’s women, including royal cook Dotty Dumplin, are queueing up to audition for the role of Queen.

But Old King Cole has his heart set on Dotty’s daughter, Debbie Dumplin. Unfortunately Debbie has already fallen in love with the king’s aide Florian.

Meanwhile, King Cole’s evil brother Peski and wife Pariah are conspiring to unseat him from the throne, with help from a magic pool which reverses the ageing process and turns Old King Cole into Young King Cole.

Old King Cole is being performed by the Stane Street Players at the Empire Theatre, Butler Road, Halstead, on Saturday and Sunday.

Performances are at 2.30pm and 6.30pm on both days.

All tickets are £8. Call 07778 025490 or visit