THE word ‘pantomime’ might not often get mentioned in the spring, but in West Howe it is the word of the moment.

It might only be March, but preparations are getting under way for the first community panto in the Bournemouth suburb.

The idea is the latest being launched in a bid to garner community spirit and a feel-good atmosphere in what is often seen as a deprived area of the borough.

West Howe residents are being invited to get involved with every part of the production from script writing to playing ‘best boy’.

Martha Searle, Bournemouth Borough Council’s West Howe neighbourhood development office, said: “It’s one heck of an exciting project and we’re inviting help with every part of the production: script writing, project planning, costume making, set design and making, lighting, sound, promotion, acting.

“There’s an opportunity for everyone and, after all, a Christmas without a pantomime is like Christmas cake without marzipan, so we’re doing something about it.”

Cllr Jane Kelly, cabinet member for regeneration at the council, added: “Pantomime is a very traditional art form, with its roots in the community and community players.

“The idea of doing the panto came from discussions during a mince pie drop-in during last December.

“There has already been a great response from the community, but there is always room for more West Howe residents to get involved with this first panto, pass on their skills, learn something new themselves, but above all, have a great time.”

A host of roles are on offer, both on the stage and behind the scenes.

They include drama director, music director, choreography director, arts director, stage manager, runners, scenery, props and make-up.

There is also a need for musicians, PR and marketing people, sales, technical and other roles.

Contact Martha on 01202 579036; email martha.searle@bourne