Man, 23, obsessed with panto celebrates watching his 100th SHOW

January 9, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

Oh yes he has!  Jolly Joe Purdy had more fun than most over the festive season – after watching his 100th PANTO.

The 23-year-old got hooked on the slapstick shows as a child and now spends every weekend travelling around the country seeing as many performances as possible.

He has packed in 22 shows this Christmas at a cost of around £2,000 – taking his total tally past the 100 mark.

Panto fan Joe Purdy with Leah Murphy and Mark Labbett from Aladdin at Rotherham

Panto fan Joe Purdy with Leah Murphy and Mark Labbett from Aladdin at Rotherham

Star-struck Joe also contacts the theatres in advance and usually gets invited backstage to meet the cast after the performance.

Bachelor Joe, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, said: “It started when I was a child and I used to go every Christmas Eve with my family and it has just taken off from there.

“I have always been interested in musical theatre but the last few years I have got more and more into it, seeing more and more bigger and better shows.

“I love pantomimes because you can just go and forget about everything for that couple of hours.

“It’s so happy and I love the music, and it just leaves you with such a good feeling.

“It’s the costumes too, and just the way it all comes together.”

Joe, a council revenues officer, started booking his own trips when he was 19 and spends every weekend seeing shows over the panto season.

“I do it during the weekends in November, December and January,” he said.

“I finish work on the Friday, and go off on the train on the Friday night or Saturday morning, and spend the whole weekend doing it.

“I usually go to the pantos in my Christmas jumper – I’ve got quite a few different ones.

“I love Christmas anyway, and nothing says Christmas more than a pantomime.”

Joe’s favourite productions this year were Cinderella at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, starring Julian Clary, and Aladdin at Oldham Coliseum.

He added: “I like the traditional ones.  I think the dame is the best bit – I love it when they come on with different costumes and wigs, it’s brilliant.

“Sometimes the costumes are absolutely amazing.”

His celeb highlights this year include meeting Corrie’s Chris Gascoyne and Duncan James from boyband Blue who are starring in Jack and the Beanstalk in Birmingham.

“They took the time to have a chat with me,” he said.

“And Lisa Rielly was lovely too.  She gave me her costume and said ‘put it on, put it on’.”

Joe funded his unusual hobby this year by producing his own sell-out version of Sleeping Beauty at The Nines in Barrow.

“It’s the train tickets that actually end up costing more than than the tickets, but it’s all worth it though,” he said.

“And as soon as this season is over I start looking for next season to get the best seats.”

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