The cornerHOUSE panto in Surbiton has reached its thirtieth birthday, and is going full circle with a fresh version of the original.

Started in 1987 to raise money for Ethiopian famine victims, the pantomime has become a fixture at the arts centre in Douglas Road.

Four of the original cast are back in costume as the first show, Cinderella, is reborn as Cyn Dorella – the tale of the Dorella family’s oddball sisters – written by Tim Harrison and directed by Yaz Nixon.

That first production raised a couple of hundred pounds for charity, but in the intervening years the panto has generated more than £70,000 for worthy causes including African Vision Malawi, the Surbiton-based charity which benefits from the latest show.

Phil Cooper played the baron in 1987, and reprises the role in this year’s show, which runs from Tuesday January 23 to Saturday January 28, with a few tickets left for the 7.45pm performances on January 23 and 24 (

“It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come over 30 years,” said Phil. “While the jokes haven’t altered much, the costumes are greatly improved.”

The new show features a pantomime horse, a Tolworth Broadway nail bar, two well-trained dogs and a pair of ugly sisters who bear an uncanny resemblance to an American president and a North Korean leader.