A PANTO fanatic who has enjoyed performances with her mother for more than half a century says they are “grateful” to still be able to watch shows together.

Jane Clarke and mum Anne enjoyed panto for the astonishing 56th consecutive year at Sir James Hawkey Hall in Woodford Green on Tuesday, January 9.

The pair have never watched panto anywhere other than Sir James Hawkey Hall since they first started the life-long tradition in 1963.

Jane said: "We still have most of the original programmes for those 56 productions and are proud of our record attendance. I can't think that anyone else has seen so many.

"It's an important tradition for us and, after all these years, we are just grateful to still be together and able to come along."

The latest panto Ms Clarke, 64, and Anne, 87, watched was Jack and the Beanstalk.

Jane said: “We thoroughly enjoyed it. They go a young lad playing Jack which makes a nice change. He was refreshing and sang very well.”

The only pantomime the pair missed was the first pantomime put on at the hall in 1962, a year before they both moved to Woodford Green.

The hall’s location makes viewing panto easy.

Jane said: “This has become a post-Christmas tradition for us. We don’t go to panto anywhere other than the James Hawkey Hall. It’s only 200 yards away from us. Being local to us makes it part of our Christmas.

“Panto has definitely changed over the years I have gone. We have seen brilliant ones, traditional ones and not very good ones – we’ve seen them all.”

She paid tribute to Woodford Operatic and Dramatic Society (WOADS) who put on panto at the hall.

Jane’s favourite pantomime is Pinocchio while Anne likes Cinderella.