New online panto sees Sidmouth residents stick it to Covid-19

More than 100 residents took part in the online pantomime

More than 100 residents took part in the online pantomime - Credit: Janet Dowling

If you are looking for something to cheer you up this Christmas look no further, When COVID caught Father Christmas in Sidmouth Town, a community made pantomime with a difference is now available to watch. 

More than 100 local people filmed themselves acting out scenes in iconic locations in Sidmouth, which have now been stitched together to form a 40-minute online video pantomime. 

Sidmouth storyteller Janet Dowling, of Bodgit and Kobble Lockdown Community Productions, asked locals to set aside as little as 15 seconds to film themselves searching for Santa at well-known locations in the town. 

“This is our Christmas tale. COVID (boo hiss) wants to stop Father Christmas from delivering presents, so that people get very sad and more likely to catch Covid 19!” Janet explained. 

“When Father Christmas is trapped in Sidmouth, COVID thinks he has won but he hasn't accounted for the Guisers and the Mummers (and the Giants Prince George and Sabre) who rally the town to rescue Father Christmas. 

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“It all leads to an epic battle between COVID and Sidmouth Residents with a lesson for respect and working together. 

“It’s a Bodgit and Kobble production, filmed on people's phones so please take it for what it is. A bit of a laugh, rather than an Oscar-winning performance. It’s all-in aid of Sidmouth Hospice at Home and Sid Valley Food Bank.” 

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At the end of November Janet made an appeal, via the Sidmouth Herald, asking Sidmouth residents to film themselves looking for Santa in well-known Sidmouth locations. 

Janet was almost overwhelmed by the response, she said: “There are over 100 local residents and friends of Sidmouth taking part. The video is about 40 mins long but I couldn't cut it without losing some people's contribution. So, bear with me and have fun with it. 

“Most importantly, stay safe, stay distanced, wear a mask and wash your hands. Merry Christmas, happy winter solstice, happy holidays!” 

If you would like to see When COVID caught Father Christmas in Sidmouth Town, visit

If you like the film - you can contact Janet via email: Janet’s websites are and

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