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The latest pantomime news from Qdos Entertainment, the world's largest pantomime producer

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    Wolverhampton Grand have announced that The Bill star Graham Cole will complete the line-up of this year’s GIGANTIC family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk from Saturday 9 December. Graham will join the previously announced Gareth Gates, Lisa Riley, Ian Adams, Doreen Tipton and Adam C Booth in yet another fun-filled family pantomime from Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer.

    Graham is best-known as PC Tony Stamp in the much-loved ITV serial drama The Bill, a role he played for over 25 years from 1984 until the programme ended in 2009. In that time he detained thousands of criminals ensuring the streets of London were safe, but will be swapping good for bad, playing the role of the Giant’s henchman, the evil Fleshcreep in this year’s pantomime.

    In addition to his lengthy stint at Sun Hill Police Station, Graham held previous roles in Doctor Who, Casualty, The Keeper of Traken and The Twin Dilemma. Since leaving The Bill Graham has also fronted Police, Stop!, appeared in Law & Order UK and made numerous stage appearances, including the leading role in Scrooge at the Garrick Theatre and General Waverley in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, a role he reprised for a record-breaking run at the Dominion Theatre in London’s West End.

    Graham is also president of the National Holiday Fund, which takes sick and disabled children to Disney World in Florida. He has been patron to ChildLine for over 30 years, and has supported numerous other charities which saw him awarded the OBE in 2010 for his charitable work.

    Speaking on his role as Fleshcreep, Graham Cole said: “Having played one of the good guys for so many years I’m really looking forward to playing a real baddie for once, and what better way to spend Christmas than to terrify Wolverhampton audiences working for Giant Blunderbore.”

    Audiences shouldn’t leave it any longer to secure their tickets for JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, the pantomime audiences have bean waiting for. With music, dance, laughter, special effects and a beanstalk of giant proportions, book your tickets now!

    JACK AND THE BEANSTALK opens at the Grand Theatre on Saturday 9 December 2017 and runs until Sunday 14 January 2018. Tickets are already on sale and can be booked in person, by phone on 01902 42 92 12 or online at grandtheatre.co.uk.


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    Milton Keynes Theatre have announced that comedian, television presenter and musical theatre star Brian Conley will be joined in this year’s pantomime, Cinderella, by celebrity fashion-Guru, chef, author, presenter and DJ Gok Wan this Christmas.

    Gok Wan will play The Fairy Gokmother, offering helpful style tips to The Ugly Sisters and creating the most magical ball gown in panto-land for Cinderella! Cinderella in Milton Keynes marks Gok’s fifth pantomime appearance, the first of which was the subject of the Channel 4 documentary Gok Does Panto.

    Gok’s TV career started with the overwhelming success of his Channel 4 series, How To Look Good Naked and through his expertise as a fashion stylist and the show’s phenomenal success he became an ‘institution for women wanting to find their own unique style and confidence’. How To Look Good Naked was so successful that Gok appeared in a further six series and then went on to host three series of Gok’s Fashion Fix. Gok’s other recent TV credits include How To Cook Chinese, Gok’s Style Secrets, Gok Live Stripping For Summer, Too Fat Too Young and Gok’s Teen’s The Naked Truth. Gok is a regular guest presenter on ITV1’s This Morning and has most recently presented Fearne and Gok - Off the Rails for ITVBe and hosted ITV1’s Gok’s Lunchbox. Before panto, this autumn Gok will tour the UK in his own show Gok Wan – Naked & Baring All.

    Cinderella sees pantomime producer Qdos Entertainment return to Milton Keynes theatre for the first time in over a decade. The Company’s managing director Michael Harrison said “I’m very excited that we are able to bring Brian and Gok back together on stage after their previous record-breaking panto seasons together in Southampton and Southend. The pair working together are comedy-gold and this show will definitely be a must-see on this year’s panto calendar.”

    Emma Sullivan, Theatre Director at Milton Keynes Theatre says: “We’re thrilled to announce that Gok Wan will be strutting his stuff and working his wardrobe wonders as the Fairy Gokmother in pantomime this year alongside Brian Conley. Gok is everyone’s favourite fashion-guru who is sure to be loved by Milton Keynes audiences. This pantomime season promises to be magical… oh yes it does!”

    Panto-favourite Brian Conley’s casting as Buttons was announced by the Theatre earlier this year in a production packed with spectacular special effects, stunning costumes, big musical numbers and lots of comedy for all the family.

    Cinderella runs at Milton Keynes Theatre from Saturday 9 December 2017 until Sunday 14 January 2018. Tickets are on sale now at www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes.


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    The Bristol Hippodrome is delighted to announce that comedy legend Joe Pasquale, recording and musical theatre star Marti Pellow and Emmerdale and Coronation Street’s Hayley Tamaddon will lead the cast in this year’s magical family pantomime Aladdin, from Saturday 9 December 2017.

    Comedian and star of ITV’s Dancing on Ice, Joe Pasquale stars as Wishee Washee. Well-known for being one of the hardest-working and top-selling live comedians in British comedy today, Joe has been delighting audiences for more than 20 years with his live stand-up tours and infectious sense of fun. Along the way he’s voiced characters for Hollywood movies Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties and Horton Hears A Who!, toured in several major theatrical productions including Mel Brooks’ The Producers, starred in the West End production of Spamalot, been crowned King of the Jungle in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me out Of Here; appeared on five Royal Variety Performances and even learned to skate for ITV1’s Dancing On Ice – no mean feat! Joe is currently guest starring on ITV’s Live At The London Palladium with Bradley Walsh.

    The hugely talented performer Marti Pellow co-stars in the role of the evil sorcerer Abanazar. Achieving some of the UK’s biggest number-one singles, Marti has regularly featured in the UK charts throughout his career, both as a solo artist and as the frontman to Wet Wet Wet. The BRIT and Ivor Novello award-winning artist has released over twenty studio albums, including his new hit album Mysterious. Marti has enjoyed over 25 hit singles and continues to sell out with his live concerts and arena shows – including this year’s sold-out Mysterious Tour.

    In addition to his music, Marti has also starred in numerous high-profile theatre productions in the West End and on Broadway, including Chicago, Blood Brothers and recently the sold-out, award-winning musical Evita for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the WhatsOnStage Awards. He’s also had the privilege to work alongside Tim Rice in his concert film of Chess, and with Jeff Wayne in the international arena tour of War of The Worlds.

    Marti has also starred in many record-breaking theatre tours, including The Witches of Eastwick, Blood Brothers and Jekyll & Hyde. Marti continues to work with Wet Wet Wet who will be celebrating 30 years of Popped In Souled Out with three concerts over the Summer. Marti made his pantomime debut for Qdos Entertainment in the record-breaking 2015 Birmingham Hippodrome production of Aladdin, which he reprised last year at the 3000-seat SEC Armadillo in Glasgow.

    Hayley Tamaddon joins them as Princess Jasmine, having played leading roles in Emmerdale as Del Dingle and in Coronation Street as Andrea Beckett. No stranger to the stage, Hayley starred as the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and most recently completed a UK tour in the leading role of Roxie Hart in Chicago. Hayley also took to the ice alongside Joe Pasquale on the ninth series of Dancing on Ice: All Stars, coming second in the competition.

    Aladdin is produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer. Qdos Entertainment stages productions of West End scale and quality, featuring spectacular effects, stunning costumes and lots of laugh-out-loud humour.

    Michael Harrison, Managing Director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomimes division said, “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing Joe Pasquale, Marti Pellow and Hayley Tamaddon to The Bristol Hippodrome this Christmas. Joe, Marti and Hayley are exceptional panto performers, so we know that Bristol audiences will be in very safe hands this Christmas.”

    This year’s Bristol Hippodrome pantomime will also include a magical 3D sequence, which will see audiences transported to Old Peking on a sensational magical carpet ride adventure.

    Jenny Hutchinson, General Manager at The Bristol Hippodrome said, “We are so pleased to be working with Qdos Entertainment again this year on Aladdin. With three of the UK’s most loved stars Joe, Marti and Hayley bringing something unique this year for Bristol audiences to enjoy, we anticipate yet another blockbuster family production!”


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    New Wimbledon Theatre has announced that the countries’ most outspoken publican Al Murray and West End, television and Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe will lead the cast of this year’s GIANT pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk from Saturday 9 December 2017.

    Best known as “The Pub Landlord”, Al Murray has been a mainstay of British television, radio, theatre and the stand-up circuit since he made his debut at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994. Since then he propelled himself to stardom from his humble publican beginnings with the outspoken raconteur winning the coveted Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival, an Olivier Award nomination for his theatre show My Gaff, My Rules and won a British Comedy Award for his chat show Al Murray’s Happy Hour.

    A regular across the touring circuit, Al has played venues across the country with his tours, including A Glass of White Wine for the Lady (one of his numerous catchphrases), Giving It Both Barrels and Time Gentlemen Please. On television he has hosted Fact Hunt, appeared on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy, hosted his own sketch show Al Murray’s Multiple Personality Disorder and presented the travel documentary Al Murray’s German Adventure for the BBC.

    On radio Al has often hosted shows on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 5 Live and has guest edited The Today Show for BBC Radio 4. Last year Al starred in the live, televised celebration of 400 years of Shakespeare playing Bottom opposite Dame Judi Dench as Titania in an excerpt from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Al has also released eight live DVDs and five novels under his Pub Landlord guise. Al will play the brother of Jack Trot, Idle Al, who will ably assist his brother in climbing the beanstalk, outwit the evil Giant Blunderbore and win the hand of the beautiful Princess.

    Starring alongside Al Murray as Idle Al, Jack’s mother will be played by the Olivier Award winning actor Clive Rowe MBE. Since graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Clive solidified his reputation as one of the UK’s most talented actors and vocalists with lead roles in Carousel at the National Theatre, a role that saw him nominated for an Olivier Award, and Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, for which he won. Other stage work includes Once On This Island, the role of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, the Jester in Twelfth Night at the Open Air Theatre, One-Round in The Ladykillers, King Darius in The Light Princess at the National and Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic. Clive was last heard (and briefly seen) at New Wimbledon Theatre when he voiced Audrey II, the infamous man-eating plant in the musical Little Shop of Horrors.

    In addition to his television work, where he is perhaps best known to legions of younger viewers as Mo in The Story of Tracy Beaker, Clive has appeared in Doctor Who, All The Small Things and So Awkward for CBBC. Clive is also famously known as one of the UK’s best-loved pantomime dames having donned a frock at the Hackney Empire for a number of years. In 2009 Clive was nominated for the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for his role as Mother Goose.

    This festive season the SW19 landscape will feature a gigantic beanstalk as Jack and the Beanstalk comes to New Wimbledon Theatre for the first time in over 15 years. Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, in a brand-new partnership with New Wimbledon Theatre operators ATG, this year’s production will feature all of the ingredients of a perfect panto; a fabulous cast and orchestra, laugh-out-loud comedy, magic beans, bundles of audience participation, stunning scenery and never-before-seen special effects for all the family to enjoy.

    Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomime division said: “We are absolutely delighted to begin an all-new working relationship with New Wimbledon Theatre and to bring the magic of our pantomimes to Merton this year. We are thrilled Al Murray will make what promises to be an unmissable and hilarious pantomime debut as Idle Al, and with the wonderfully talented Clive Rowe as our Dame New Wimbledon Theatre audiences are in for a real treat this year.”

    Neil Chandler, General Manager of New Wimbledon Theatre said: “Since we opened this theatre on Boxing Day 1910 we have built a reputation of providing the best family pantomime in South West London. I am thrilled that Qdos Entertainment are returning to the venue to continue this tradition”

    This year’s New Wimbledon Theatre pantomime is the production audiences have bean waiting for and should book their tickets today. Jack and the Beanstalk runs from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018.


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    Elaine Paige (Queen Rat), Ashley Banjo and Diversity, Gary Wilmott (Sarah the Cook) and Charlie Stemp (Dick Whittington) will join the previously announced Julian Clary (Spirit of the Bells), Paul Zerdin (Idle Jack) and Nigel Havers (Captain Nigel) in the line-up for Qdos Entertainment’s London Palladium production of Dick Whittington. Final casting will be announced at a later date. Dick Whittington will run at the London Palladium for five weeks only over the festive season from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018.

    Multiple award-winning actor, recording artist, producer and broadcaster Elaine Paige will play Queen Rat. She has previously starred in more West End and Broadway musicals than anyone else of her generation - Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, Billy, Evita, Cats, Chess, Anything Goes, Piaf, Sunset Boulevard, The King & I, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Drowsy Chaperone and Follies. In addition, she was part of the Sir Peter Hall Company for The Misanthrope and Where There’s A Will. Her BBC Radio 2 programme, Elaine Paige on Sunday, is broadcast weekly to over 2.5 million listeners. She continues her extensive live work with a series of UK concerts in October and November of this year. As a recording artist, she has released 22 solo albums as well as featuring on multiple cast albums. Paige was made an OBE in 1995.

    Ashley Banjo is a dancer, choreographer and creative director. He is the founder and leader of dance group Diversity who won the third series of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. Aside from the group’s achievements Banjo has since been a judge on all 5 series of Sky 1’s Got To Dance, has had 4 of his own series on Sky 1 and has co-hosted BBC 1’s Can’t Touch This. He now judges on ITV’s new primetime show Dance Dance Dance.

    Innovative dance group Diversity took the nation by storm when they won the third series of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. The group have since gone on to achieve worldwide success and have just completed their 7th sell out UK tour Genesis. The group also have countless television performances to their name including 2 primetime ITV shows, Diversity Live and Diversity Presents Steal The Show.

    Gary Wilmot’s multiple theatre credits include Big The Musical for the Theatre Royal Plymouth, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre and on UK tour, The Pajama Game at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, Copacabana at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Carmen Jones at the Old Vic, Pirates of Penzance for Regent’s Park Theatre and Me and My Girl at the Aldephi Theatre. His many UK tour credits include End of the Rainbow, Oklahoma!, Oliver!, Chicago and From Hackney to Hollywood. Later this month Wilmot will open at the London Palladium playing Badger in The Wind in the Willows.

    Award-winning Charlie Stemp is currently playing the lead role in Half a Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre, a role he first performed at Chichester Festival Theatre, which garnered him both great critical and audience acclaim. His previous theatre credits include Wicked at the Apollo Victoria and the international tour of Mamma Mia!

    Dick Whittington is produced by Nick Thomas and Michael Harrison for Qdos Entertainment, the team behind last year’s twice Olivier-nominated London Palladium production of Cinderella, which

    broke box office records for the highest grossing week in West End theatre history. Dick Whittington is

    written by Alan McHugh, directed by Michael Harrison, choreographed by Karen Bruce with musical supervision and orchestrations by Gary Hind, lighting by Ben Cracknell, set designs by Ian

    Westbrook, 3D Creations, costumes by Hugh Durrant, visual special effects by The Twins FX, projection design by Duncan McLean and sound design by Gareth Owen.

    Nick Thomas is the founder and Chairman of Qdos Entertainment Group. The business that he started in 1982 is now one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe. Aside from the company’s credentials in pantomime, it is the UK’s second largest regional theatre and concert hall operator, and employs 1,800 full time staff.

    Michael Harrison has previously produced over 100 pantomimes for Qdos Entertainment where he is also Managing Director. He has directed 12 consecutive pantomimes at Newcastle Theatre Royal and 7 productions at Birmingham Hippodrome and as a producer in the West End his credits include Gypsy, The Bodyguard and Annie as well as the forthcoming production of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.

    As the world’s biggest pantomime producer, over the past 35 years Qdos Entertainment has established itself as one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe. Over the past three decades the pantomime giant has staged 684 pantomimes and this season expects over two million people will see one of its shows.

    The London Palladium, owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatres Group, is a venue to which all performers aspire and has hosted more annual Royal Variety Performances than any other theatre. It recently returned to its variety roots and is taking its rightful place as one of the most popular venues for leading musicians, performers, comedians and now Pantomime which returned last December after an absence of nearly 30 years.


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    The New Theatre has announced that Samantha Womack, Gareth Thomas, Mike Doyle, Chico and Tam Ryan will star in this year’s fun-filled, spectacular family pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from the 9 December 2017.

    Actress and singer Samantha Womack is best-known for her role in EastEnders as the late Ronnie Mitchell, whose chilling on-screen departure was seen by over nine million television viewers last Christmas. Having appeared on numerous television dramas and comedies including Game On, Home Again, The Grimleys and films including Up’n’Under and Lighthouse Hill she has firmly established herself as one of the country’s most prolific actresses. Her stage work includes the role of Sandy in the West End revival of Grease at the Dominion Theatre, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls opposite Patrick Swayze and in the West End and UK tour of South Pacific as Nellie Forbush and she is currently touring the UK as Morticia Addams in The Addams Family. Samantha will play the Wicked Queen, hoping to ensure she remains the fairest of them all by plotting the demise of the beautiful Snow White.

    Starring as her Henchman will be Bridgend-born Gareth Thomas, known as ‘Alfie’, who was the first Welsh rugby player to reach 100 caps and is one of the most iconic and respected figures in world sport. Now retired, Gareth has gone on to enjoy a varied media career including appearances on Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing on Ice, The Jump and regularly commentates for BT Sport and Sky. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs mark’s Gareth’s return to pantomime at the New Theatre where he made his panto debut in 2014.

    Back for his fifth consecutive Cardiff pantomime will be British Comedy Award winner, singer, comedian and much-loved dame Mike Doyle who will star as the Nurse. Following last year’s critically acclaimed appearance as Mrs Smee opposite David Hasselhoff in Peter Pan, Mike will bring his array of comedy, costumes and audience participation to New Theatre audiences this Christmas.

    Starring as Prince Charming is The X Factor’s Chico, who became a household name as a finalist on the show’s second series. Not content with knocking Madonna off the top of the UK chart with his hit Chico Time he swapped singing for skating and captivated the nation with his spectacular routines and reached the final of ITV1’s Dancing on Ice. Since then he has appeared on numerous television shows and in several pantomimes, winning rave reviews for his performances.

    Completing the line-up is funny man Tam Ryan as Muddles. Tam has had a successful and varied career in live entertainment for a number of years, regularly starring on stage in venues across the country, as a highly sought after entertainment on cruise ships and a regular in the world of pantomime having starred alongside David Hasselhoff, Warwick Davis and Priscilla Presley. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs marks Tam’s first appearance in pantomime for Qdos Entertainment.

    Staged once again by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and the team behind last year’s record-breaking pantomime Peter Pan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will feature all of the traditional pantomime ingredients Cardiff theatregoers have now come to expect in a fantastic new production of the well-loved fairy tale.

    Jonathan Kiley, Executive Producer for Qdos Entertainment said: “After last year’s fantastic production of Peter Pan we’re delighted to be bringing our sensational production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the New Theatre. With Samantha Womack at the helm as our very Wicked Queen alongside the brilliant Gareth Thomas, Mike Doyle, Chico and Tam, audiences are in for a real festive treat.”

    With over 50,000 theatregoers attending last year’s pantomime audiences should book now for the fairest panto of them all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which runs from Saturday 9 December 2017 until Sunday 14 January 2018.


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    Fresh from this weekend’s nail-biting final of ITVs Britain’s Got Talent Live Final, Swansea Grand has announced that returning star Matt Edwards will be back for his third pantomime, Aladdin from Friday 15 December alongside the previously announced Grand Grande Dame Kevin Johns MBE.

    The Britain’s Got Talent finalist magician and comedian, who was awarded the ultimate accolade, the coveted Golden Buzzer by BGT hosts Ant & Dec, saw him sent straight through to the show’s live finals in the 11th series of the popular television talent contest. Just as he has done entertaining pantomime audiences every Christmas, Matt won over the presenters, judges and audiences with his infectiously likeable personality, comic routines and magic tricks, solidifying his reputation as one of the UK’s best performers. Over 2.5million viewers saw Matt come in fourth place during last weekend’s live final. In this year’s production, Matt will play Wishee Washee, the hapless brother to the magic-carpet riding hero Aladdin alongside Kev Johns MBE as their mother Widow Twankey. The much-loved comic pairing will ensure this year’s production is packed with a lamp-full of laughter, hilarious magic and plenty of surprises along the way.

    Speaking on his role Matt Edwards said: “I’m absolutely thrilled at coming fourth in Britain’ Got Talent, it was such a surreal but exciting opportunity to be on such a well-known and popular TV show and to have received so many comments from the likes of Simon Cowell and the voting public has been phenomenal. I’m really excited about future projects, and especially delighted to be asked back to star in this year’s Swansea Grand panto, the audiences there are amongst the best in the world and I can’t wait to re-join my friend Kev and give South Wales a lot of laughs this festive season.”

    “We are delighted to have Matt back with us in pantomime this year. It was no surprise that he did so well on BGT following his success here in last year’s award nominated pantomime and the support from Swansea was overwhelming, so we know the audience is in for a real treat! ” – Paul Hopkins, Swansea Grand Theatre Manager.

    With further star casting to be announced, audiences should hop aboard their magic carpets and head for the Swansea Grand Box Office today!

    Aladdin is at Swansea Grand Theatre from Fri 15th December – Sunday 14th January. To book please call box office on 01792 475715 or online at www.swanseagrand.co.uk. Tickets start from £12.50


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    Venue Cymru has announced that former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas will star as Neverland’s most prolific pirate Captain Hook in this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Peter Pan, which opens on Saturday 9 December.

    Salford-born Ryan burst onto television screens on Christmas Day in 2000 in the role of Jason Grimshaw in the iconic ITV soap Coronation Street, a role he played for over 16 years. Best known for romantic entanglements, Ryan left Weatherfield last year in an emotional departure following the death of his on-screen father.

    Peter Pan marks Ryan’s second pantomime appearance having made his debut as Prince Charming in the Wyvern Theatre Swindon’s production of Cinderella for producers Qdos Entertainment last year. This year Ryan will be swap searching for the girl who fits the glass slipper for a more malevolent search of Neverland to hunt down the boy who refuses to grow up, the highflying hero Peter Pan, and his band of Lost Boys.

    Speaking about his role as Captain Hook, Ryan Thomas said: “I had such a ball last year making my panto debut in Cinderella so I can’t wait to play Neverland’s coolest pirate, Captain Hook, this year. I’ve really got the panto bug now and can’t wait to get my hook into Venue Cymru audiences and give them a fantastic show.”

    Joining him as Mrs Smee, the matriarch of the Jolly Roger will be Llandudno dame-in-residence and North Wales resident Andy Jones making his 36th pantomime appearance having delighted Venue Cymru audiences in last year’s pantomime, Aladdin. This year will see Andy don even more outrageous frocks and take to the high seas with plenty of laughs, local references and hilarious comedy routines.

    Qdos Entertainment’s Executive Producer of Peter Pan Jonathan Kiley said: “Ryan is an absolute natural in pantomime, and we are delighted that he will be leading the cast of North Wales’ biggest pantomime this Christmas. I’m thrilled Andy Jones is also coming back for another year in Llandudno after his hilarious turn as Widow Twankey last year. This year’s production promises all the laughs, audience participation and magic Llandudno have come to expect each festive season, and we can’t wait to bring our show to them this Christmas.”

    Venue Cymru’s Marketing Manager Richard Jones said “Venue Cymru’s pantomime is such a popular tradition for families around North Wales, and this casting news is sure to put Peter Pan up there with some of our most memorable seasons to date. Tickets are already selling very well, so I would encourage families to book early in order to get seats as close to the magic as possible over this years festivities!”

    Peter Pan, which is adapted from the original by J M Barrie, at Venue Cymru runs from Saturday 9 to Sunday 31 December 2017.


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    The Beck Theatre, Hayes has announced that television and stage star Rita Simons will lead the cast in this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Aladdin, from 9 December 2017.

    Actress, model and singer Rita Simons is best-known for her role in EastEnders as the late Roxy Mitchell, and her work on ITV’s London’s Burning, Dream Team and Mile High for Sky 1.

    As Roxy Mitchell, Rita became a mainstay of the iconic Albert Square for over a decade, involved in numerous high-profile storylines, including a tenure as landlady of the iconic Queen Vic pub, her tempestuous family relationships and her complicated romantic life. In her time on the Square Rita received noteworthy accolades including Most Popular Newcomer at the National Television, Inside Soap and Digital Spy Soap Awards and was nominated in numerous other categories. On Christmas Day 2016 Roxy’s chilling on-screen departure was seen by over nine million television viewers, causing a national outcry at the death of one of soap’s best-loved characters.

    In addition to her work on television, Rita was one fifth of the pop group Girls@Play, who released the single Airhead and a cover of Mel and Kim’s Respectable and supported Hear’Say and Steps on their UK tours. She has also supported Blue star Duncan James and starred in pantomime as the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty at the Marlow Theatre, Canterbury and the Alban Arena respectively. Later this year she will star as Paulette in the new UK tour of Legally Blonde. Rita will play Scheherazade, the magical Spirit of the Ring held captive by the evil Abanazar who will help the handsome hero Aladdin win fame, fortune and the hand of the beautiful Princess.

    Produced by One From the Heart, Aladdin features all of the ingredients of the very best Beck Theatre pantomime; a lamp-full of laughter, music, mayhem, a wish-granting genie and plenty of audience participation.

    One From the Heart Executive Producer Daryl Back said: “I’m thrilled that Rita will be headlining this year’s fantastic Hayes pantomime. We all know and love her as an actress but I’m delighted we’ll be giving her a chance to show off her brilliant singing voice and comic timing in a production that promises to be fun for all the family.”

    Theatre Director Louise Clifford said: “With Rita Simons at the top of this year’s bill, and ticket sales already ahead of last year, we know that we’re going to have another huge pantomime success on our hands. The Beck has a wonderfully intimate auditorium which makes for a truly magical pantomime experience, perfect for lots of Booing and Hissing!”.

    With tens of thousands of theatregoers attending last year’s pantomime audiences should hop aboard their magic carpets and set their Sat Navs for the Beck Theatre Box Office for the panto of everyone’s wishes, Aladdin, which runs from Saturday 9 until Sunday 31 December 2017


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    The Theatre Royal Nottingham has announced that television and stage star Ben Richards has joined the line-up of this year’s forthcoming family pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, which begins Saturday 9 December. Ben will return to Nottingham this festive season in this year’s production packed full of laughter, music, special effects, and plenty of audience participation.

    After rising to fame on the ITV drama Footballers’ Wives, Ben went on to secure high-profile television roles in Holby City, The Bill, Doctors, and Hollyoaks; and appeared in the feature films Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis opposite Jane Horrocks and the late Rik Mayal, and Julie and the Cadillacs. No stranger to the stage, Ben has appeared in theatres across the UK and the West End with leading roles in Grease, Saturday Night Fever, The Full Monty, and Little Shop of Horrors.

    Further stage roles include Guys and Dolls opposite Miami Vice star Don Johnson; the role of Tick in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre London; Bill Sykes in Oliver! at the Sheffield Crucible; and UK tours of Dolly Parton’s musical 9 to 5 and Rock of Ages, both of which played at the Theatre Royal Nottingham. Most recently Ben starred as the titular character in The Bodyguard opposite Beverley Knight at the Dominion Theatre, London, which broke Box Office attendance records.

    Ben will play the Beast opposite the previously announced Nottingham-native Sherrie Hewson as Mrs Potty and returning panto favourites Ben Nickless and Andrew Ryan, who also directs. This year’s pantomime is once again produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and carries the hallmark of festive family entertainment Nottingham audiences have come to expect, including fantastic special effects, hilarious comedy routines, and plenty of panto magic.

    Beauty and the Beast Executive Producer Jonathan Kiley said: “I’m thrilled that Ben will star as the Beast in this year’s pantomime alongside the fabulous Sherrie, Ben, and Andrew. Not only is Ben a wonderful actor, he has a stunning singing voice and fantastic stage presence; the perfect leading man for this year’s production. This year’s show is going to be yet another unmissable pantomime so audiences should book their tickets now.”

    Dreaming of a happier life, the beautiful Belle finds herself transported to a cursed castle held captive by a hideous beast. Can Belle see beyond the monster and fall in love with her captor before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose, or will the Beast’s selfishness cost him the world he once knew and the hand of the girl that has melted his heart? In a production packed full of sensational special effects, beautiful costumes, music, comedy, dancing, and audience participation; Nottingham audiences should book their tickets now for this year’s spell-binding pantomime.


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    Venue Cymru has announced that actress Pauline Daniels will join the cast of this year’s forthcoming family pantomime Peter Pan, alongside previously announced former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas and Andy Jones.

    The Birkenhead-born actress is no stranger to the stage having appeared regularly in theatres across the UK for over thirty years. In that time she has held leading roles in A Saint She Ain’t at London’s Apollo Theatre, Willy Russell’s acclaimed one-woman play Shirley Valentine, Our Day Out and Dirty Dusting at the Royal Court and television work including ITV’s Blue Murder, The Street and Brookside.

    Pauline has most recently completed a critically-acclaimed contract with the Liverpool Everyman Rep Company, performing in Fiddler on the Roof, Conquest of the South Pole, The Sum and Romeo & Juliet. She has previously performed there in Twelfth Night, Elsie and Norm’s Macbeth, Unprotected and Comedians.

    Blessed with a fabulous voice she has also sung her way across the stage with the Philharmonic Orchestra and in various musicals including Chicago, Gypsy, And the Beat Goes On and Twopence to Cross the Mersey. Known also as a successful comedienne, Pauline has topped the bills at comedy clubs and events across the UK and has starred opposite comedy greats such as Ricky Tomlinson.

    Pauline will play the role of Mimi the Magic Mermaid in this year’s production of Peter Pan, charged with helping the high-flying hero Peter Pan outwit the dastardly Captain Hook and rid him of Neverland forever. Pauline will join the previously announced Ryan Thomas who stars as Captain Hook and Andy Jones as Mrs Smee in yet another smash-hit Llandudno pantomime.

    Peter Pan, which is adapted from the original by J M Barrie, at Venue Cymru runs from Saturday 9 to Sunday 31 December 2017.


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    The White Rock have announced that much-loved pantomime star Ben Watson will be back for his sixth consecutive Hastings appearance in this year’s production of Sleeping Beauty alongside the previously announced X Factor star Honey G.

    Having trained at both Central School of Speech and Drama and the National Youth Theatre, Ben has forged a successful stage career across musical theatre, plays, comedies, and, of course, pantomime, for which he is well-loved in East Sussex.

    Ben’s theatre credits include lead roles in The Blues Brothers which toured both the UK and Japan, Bjorn in Abba Mania, Tabaqui in The Jungle Book, Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antipholus in The Comedy of Errors (both for the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), Mrs Warren’s Profession directed by Sir Peter Hall at the Theatre Royal Bath, most recently I Capture the Castle on tour across the UK and various productions at both the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.

    Ben also regularly stars in his own comedy show, which previously played at the White Rock, The History of Everything in 60 Minutes (more or less), which he has toured across the UK and sold out at the Brighton Fringe. Sleeping Beauty marks Ben’s sixth White Rock pantomime appearance having starred in Dick Whittington, Peter Pan (twice), Aladdin and Cinderella, and will star as Brian Piper, Beauty’s best friend and confident as they outwit the evil Carabosse. This year Ben also directs the White Rock Summer Youth Project production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver!, performed by local young people aged between 8-19 years.

    Joining him as his mother, Dame Maris Piper is West End and Radio star Tim McArthur who recently celebrated his 20th year in the entertainment industry. Tim has performed his solo one man show all over the world from Cape Town to Kuala Lumpur to New York. London seasons include The Purcell Room, Pizza on The Park, and the Jermyn Street Theatre. He has supported Graham Norton and Julian Clary, and toured the UK with Helen Lederer.

    Acting credits include Assassins (The Pleasance), In Company (RADA), Forever Plaid (UK Tour), Joseph, South Pacific, Godspell and numerous pantomimes. Tim also directs in many London theatres and future projects include a play with Kellie Maloney and a new musical with Tony Hatch. His sitcom is currently in development. Last year, he released his solo debut album, Don’t Be Anything Less, and performed in Trafalgar Square for Pride.

    They will join the previously announced rap artist Honey G as Fairy G, the ethereal spirit sent to help the beautiful Princess Aurora as she is placed under a curse by her wicked godmother Carabosse.

    Sleeping Beauty is produced by One From the Heart in association with HQ Theatres, the partnership behind the recent White Rock Theatre pantomime successes including Peter Pan starring Jaymi Hensley, Cinderella starring Jessie Wallace and Aladdin starring Louie Spence.

    Sleeping Beauty runs from Friday 15 until Sunday 31 December 2017. For tickets and more information visit whiterocktheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01424 462288.


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    Birmingham Hippodrome has proudly announced that Beverley Knight, Danny Mac, Matt Slack, Suzanne Shaw, The Grumbleweeds, Ceri Dupree and Phil Randal will star in this year’s production of Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes!

    Soul diva and midlands-born Beverley Knight will make her pantomime debut as The Fairy Godmother. The much-loved recording artist, radio presenter and musical theatre actress has been a mainstay of the UK music industry for over 20 years having released 8 studio albums and stormed worldwide charts with hits including Get Up!, Shoulda Woulda Coulda, Gold and Come as You Are. The celebrated soul songstress has toured the UK regularly, appeared with Take That and headlined her own tours eight times and received numerous accolades for her music and charitable advocacy including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Urban Music Awards. Beverley supported the late Prince at London’s O2, performed at his request for his Oscars party and received an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her charitable and musical body of work.

    In 2013 Beverley made her professional acting debut in the leading role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre for Cinderella’s Producer and Director Michael Harrison, a role which cemented her reputation as a singer and quickly forged a new status as a leading stage actress. After winning rave reviews from audiences and critics Beverley went on to create the leading role of Felicia in Memphis and Grizabella in Cats before reprising her role in The Bodyguard at London’s Dominion Theatre which broke Box Office attendance records and starred in the production for a limited run at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto.

    Joining her as Prince Charming is celebrated Strictly Come Dancing finalist Danny Mac as Prince Charming. Danny made his professional stage debut at the age of ten playing Gavroche in Les Misérables for Cameron Mackintosh and, having graduated from Arts Education School, appeared in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, London, where he understudied and played the role of Boq.

    Last year Danny appeared as a contestant on the fourteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing coupled with Oti Mabuse. The pair wowed viewers and the hard-to-please judging panel, and Danny remains the highest ranking male contestant in the show’s long history. Danny and Ori reached the finals and finished as joint runners-up. Danny is currently starring as Gabey in On the Town at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park and from September will star as Joe Gillis in the UK tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard which comes to Birmingham Hippodrome later this year.

    Returning for his fifth consecutive pantomime appearance, Birmingham’s favourite funny man Matt Slack will be back once again as Buttons after winning rave reviews and legions of fans after his appearances as Oddjob in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Silly Billy in Jack and the Beanstalk, Wishee Washee in Aladdin and last year’s performance as Idle Jack in Dick Whittington. Matt will ensure Cinderella goes to the Royal Ball in a performance that will feature his trademark physical comedy, off-the-cuff jokes and hilarious local references.

    In the title role of Cinderella will be pop and television star Suzanne Shaw, who rose to fame via the popular ITV talent search Popstars and the music group Hearsay. The band’s debut single Pure and Simple was the fastest-selling non-charitable record ever to reach number one, with sell-out tours and a record-breaking album which followed. Suzanne went on to establish herself as an actress with leading stage roles in Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, Summer Holiday, White Christmas, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, appeared in various pantomimes, and starred as Eve Jenson ITV1’s Emmerdale. In 2008 she won the third series of ITV1’s popular skating show Dancing on Ice and participated in the All Stars series in 2014.

    Robin Colvill and James Brandon, better known as The Grumbleweeds, will star alongside them as The Broker’s Men. Regulars on the UK comedy scene since the 1960s across radio, television, theatre, cabaret and pantomime the ‘guv’nors’ of live comedy will bring their inimitable style of family entertainment, musical comedy and laugh-out-loud routines to the production.

    Completing the line-up and ensuring Cinderella doesn’t get to the Royal Ball will be Ceri Dupree and Phil Randal as the Ugly Sisters. Both Ceri and Phil have independently dominated the cabaret and pantomime circuits for a number of years, and, for the first time will come together as the ultimate Ugly Sister pairing. Ceri and Phil will bring a wealth of panto experience, sensational costumes (and plenty of them) to proceedings having appeared on stages across the country and beyond impersonating the world’s biggest divas and entertaining thousands of theatregoers every Christmas.

    Once again this year’s pantomime will be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, with Michael Harrison as Producer and Director for the eighth consecutive year having recently brought his previous productions of Funny Girl, Annie, Barnum and The Bodyguard to the Hippodrome.

    Speaking on this year’s casting, Michael Harrison said: “This year’s fantastic line-up will ensure another smash-hit pantomime for the Hippodrome this year. With so many stars across the worlds of music, theatre, dance and comedy I’m delighted we’ve assembled such a stellar cast for Birmingham’s ultimate pantomime. Once again there’ll be plenty of laughs, surprises and audience participation for our audiences to look forward to, so they should book their tickets to the Ball today.”

    Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome said: ‘We are hugely excited to play host to Beverley Knight in her pantomime debut this festive season. Pantomime is incredibly important to us at Birmingham Hippodrome and we’re extremely proud of our longstanding relationship with Qdos, who continue to entertain and delight audiences from across the region year on year with their unique mixture of storytelling, lavish special effects and hilarious comedy. This year’s line-up promises something for everyone, and with the clock already ticking, it’s never too early to start planning in some Christmas fun.’

    Audiences shall go to the ball this Christmas as Cinderella transforms from rags to riches, outwits her very Ugly Sisters, and with the help of her hilarious friend Buttons and one very magical Fairy Godmother, wins the heart of the dashing Prince Charming. Cinderella will feature all of the ingredients of the perfect Hippodrome pantomime; a fabulous cast and orchestra, laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to enjoy.

    The clock is ticking…book your tickets to the Ball today!


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    Swansea Grand has announced that Benidorm star Tony Maudsley will ensure audience’s wishes come true in this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Aladdin, from Friday 15 December joining the previously announced Kevin Johns MBE and Matt Edwards.

    Following his acclaimed pantomime debut for producers Qdos Entertainment last year, Tony returns to the art-form and takes a break from the Benidorm hairdressing salon where he is best-known for playing the lovable Kenneth DuBeke in the long-running, award-winning ITV comedy. Tony has been a series regular in the award-winning comedy series since 2011 and in that time won legions of fans thanks to his hilarious comedy, array of outlandish outfits and screen presence. Tony has previously been nominated for Best Actor and Best Newcomer by the Royal Television Society, appeared on Sky Living’s The Spa and ITV’s Northern Lights and has starred as the inimitable musical theatre matriarch Edna Turnblad in a critically acclaimed UK tour of the musical Hairspray.

    Tony also appeared in the Johnny Depp motion picture Sleepy Hollow, Vanity Fair alongside Reece Witherspoon, with David Suchet in Agatha Christie’s Poirot and in Bright Young Things, directed by Stephen Fry appearing alongside a roster of star names including Richard E Grant, Imelda Staunton, John Mills, Peter O’Toole and Michael Sheen.

    Tony will be heading for sunnier Swansea climes and starring as the Genie of the Ring in this year’s forthcoming pantomime. Forced to do the bidding of the evil sorcerer Abanazar, he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime and make Aladdin’s wishes come true, winning the hand of the beautiful Princess and riches beyond his wildest dreams.

    Speaking on his role, Tony Maudsley said: “After making my panto debut for Qdos Entertainment last year I’m honoured to have been asked back and delighted to play Swansea Grand this year. Swansea is such a great city and I can’t wait to spend the Christmas season there with Kev and Matt and the whole company. It’s going to be a fantastic show!”

    Tony will star alongside the previously announced Kevin Johns MBE as Widow Twankey, Aladdin’s mother and Matt Edwards as Wishee Washee, fresh from his recent Britain’s Got Talent appearances in a production packed full of magic, laughter and audience participation.

    They will also be joined by the loveable, if a little highly strung, Dooby Duck and Friends. Hatched in 1981, Dooby made his stage debut in pantomime alongside the late Les Dawson, which proved so popular it led to a Royal request to appear at the Children’s Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.

    Dooby has travelled the world, together with his friends, appearing for several seasons at the Folie Russe in Loews Hotel, Monte Carlo and has had three series of his own for BBC TV; Dooby Duck’s Disco Bus, Dooby’s Duck Truck and Dooby Duck’s Euro Tour; as well as a series for NHK TV in Japan, where he appeared as a guest on a weekly Saturday night variety show. He has also made numerous television, theatre and cabaret appearances across the world. Throughout the 90s Dooby took to pantomime like a duck to water, appearing at venues across the country, and now, thirty years on, he’ll be back providing some very unique entertainment to this year’s unmissable production.

    With 30,000 people attending the Swansea Grand pantomime every festive season, audiences should hop aboard their magic carpets and head for the Swansea Grand Box Office to book their Aladdin tickets today!


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    The Orchard Theatre has announced that much-loved actress Michelle Collins will star as the Wicked Stepmother in this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Cinderella, alongside the previously announced Louie Spence from Saturday 9 December.

    Michelle made her television debut alongside Gary Oldman in Morgan’s Boy before going on to appear in numerous primetime programmes including Real Women, Sunburn, The Sleeper, Two Thousand Acres of Skye, the Emmy and BAFTA award-winning The Illustrated Mum and Doctor Who. Michelle also appeared in the feature films Personal Services opposite Julie Walters, Empire State and Stephen Poliakoff’s Hidden City.

    Having been spotted on television by BBC producers Michelle was asked to audition for the popular soap EastEnders and won the role of Cindy Beale, originally intended to appear in just eleven episodes. Michelle’s portrayal quickly proved popular with soap executives and viewers alike and played the role of the villainous, seral-adulterer for over ten years, an integral character to numerous high-profile storylines cementing her reputation as one of the UK’s best-loved actresses.

    In addition to an early music career touring with Level 42, Marc Almond and Kid Creole, Michelle has also stared on stage in the musicals Daddy Cool and Never Forget, and appeared at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton as the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet and in The Demolition Man.

    Since leaving EastEnders Michelle swapped the Queen Vic for a different pub, to take up her role as Stella Rice, landlady of Coronation Street’s infamous Rovers Return. Michelle played the role for over two years before appearing in Casualty in a guest-starring role, Death in Paradise and Midsomer Murders. Later this year Michelle will also be seen starring in the BAFTA award winning CBBC show The Dumping Ground.

    Michelle will join the previously announced Pineapple Dance Studios star Louie Spence as Prince Charming’s high-kicking manservant Dandini. Catapulted to fame via the Sky One series filmed at his Covent Garden dance studio, Louie went on to become one of the nation’s best-loved reality stars with subsequent appearances on Dancing on Ice, Louie Spence’s Showbusiness, The Jump and Celebrity Big Brother. No stranger to performing on stage, Louie appeared in the West End musicals Cats, Miss Saigon and Closer to Heaven and, as a commercial dancer, toured the world with the Spice Girls, Take That and Björk. Cinderella marks Louie’s fourth pantomime with Qdos Entertainment.

    Cinderella’s Executive Producer Jonathan Kiley said: “I’m thrilled that Michelle will be joining Louie in this year’s spectacular Orchard Theatre pantomime. Michelle is so well-loved as a baddie we’re delighted she’ll be giving Orchard audiences something to boo and hiss at. This year’s production will be packed full of laughter for everyone to enjoy.”

    With over 30,000 tickets sold last year, audiences shouldn’t wait any longer to book their tickets to the Royal Ball this festive season. Cinderella runs from Saturday 9 December until Sunday 31 December 2017. Book now!


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    Belfast’s Grand Opera House has announced that actress Claire King will swap the cobbles of Corrie for the high seas this Festive Season as she joins the cast of this year’s swashbuckling pantomime, Peter Pan.

    Best known as Emmerdale’s Kim Tate, a role she played in the hit ITV show for over a decade, Claire rose to popularity as one of the soap’s best-loved characters. Following an explosive departure from the programme, Claire went to prison under the guise of wing governor Karen Betts in the popular, jail-based drama series Bad Girls. Most recently starring as Erica Holroyd in Coronation Street, as well as featuring on Big Brother and Strictly Come Dancing, Claire has cemented her reputation as one of the UK’s most versatile actresses.

    Claire King will star as The Magical Mermaid, the underwater enchantress on hand to help the high-flying hero Peter Pan outwit the villainous Captain Hook.

    With a record number of fifty percent of tickets already sold - four months ahead of the opening night - the cast of Peter Pan is led by the Queen of panto May McFettridge as Mrs Smee in her 28th consecutive Grand Opera House pantomime, favourite Paddy Jenkins as Starkey, and Britain’s Got Talent finalist, funny man Paul Burling as Smee.

    Ian Wilson, chief executive of the Grand Opera House, said:

    “I am delighted to welcome Claire to the cast of Peter Pan, Northern Ireland’s biggest panto. It’s been a decade since Peter Pan was last staged at the Theatre and with an unprecedented number of 38,000 seats - half of available tickets, already sold, the show is on course to smash all box office records.

    “The Theatre opened on 23 December 1895 with a panto and since then generations of families have enjoyed the annual Christmas extravaganza at the Grand Opera House, the home of pantomime in Northern Ireland. Don’t leave it any longer to book your tickets for this year’s unmissable production of Peter Pan!”

    Staged by the world’s biggest pantomime producer Qdos Entertainment, the team behind last year’s record-breaking panto Cinderella, Peter Pan will be packed full of comedy, stunning costumes and amazing special effects audiences of all ages will enjoy.

    Hook your seats today for Peter Pan by visiting goh.co.uk


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    The New Victoria Theatre has announced that soap star Shane Richie will rob from the rich and give to poor aided by comedian and actor Peter Piper as Friar Tuck and West End leading lady Ashleigh Gray as The Spirit of Sherwood in this year’s spectacular pantomime Robin Hood from 9 December 2017 to 7 January 2018.

    International comedian and actor Peter Piper is known on both sides of the Atlantic having starred in ITV’s acclaimed sketch show 5 Alive, which won the New York Festival of Comedy Award. American success soon followed including roles in Party of Five, The Martin Short Show, Tarzan and Acapulco H.E.A.T. He also worked as a voiceover artist for Disney and Paramount lending his versatile vocal talents to Black Beauty, The Patriot Games (part one and two) and Pocahontas with Mel Gibson.

    On UK television Peter recorded his one-man comedy special Stand & Deliver for Sky TV, appeared in Holby City and starred opposite Steven Berkoff in Hotel Babylon. Most recently Peter appeared in the critically-acclaimed Jimmy McGovern series Broken for the BBC alongside Sean Bean and Anna Friel. A regular on stage, Peter starred in the original production of Boogie Nights at the Savoy Theatre and was directed by Simon Callow in his one-man show Tommy Cooper “Just Like That!” at the Garrick Theatre. A regular favourite with international audiences on board various cruise ships Peter has also appeared in numerous Qdos Entertainment pantomimes and will be reprising his role as Friar Tuck opposite Shane Richie having played the same role in Southampton last year.

    Starring as The Spirit of Sherwood, the magical fairy helping Robin, Friar Tuck and the Merry Men outwit the evil Sheriff of Nottingham will be West End star Ashleigh Gray. Having graduated from the nearby Guildford School of Acting Ashleigh quickly solidified her reputation as one of the UK’s best-loved musical theatre leading ladies having starred as Elphaba in Wicked, on tour and in London (a role she performed for over eight years), Martha in The Secret Garden, Kathy in Vanities, Kim in Taboo, Miss Lynch in Grease, Stephanie Zinone in Cool Rider, and Miranda in Betwixt! for which she was nominated for numerous awards.

    Ashleigh has also made guest appearances in concert, most recently with the renowned Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, on Friday Night is Music Night for BBC Radio 2, toured with Susan Boyle, Lee Mead, John Barrowman, Ramin Karimloo and Scott Allen and performed across the globe with her powerhouse voice. In pantomime Ashleigh has starred in Qdos Entertainment productions for a number of years, including two consecutive years at the SEC in Glasgow alongside John Barrowman and The Krankies, and has starred alongside Shane Richie for the last two years, in Dick Whittington in Dartford and Robin Hood in Southampton.

    Peter and Ashleigh will join the previously announced Shane Richie in the title role of Robin Hood. Having established himself as one of the nation’s favourite soap stars, Shane has won numerous awards and millions of fans for his portrayal of Albert Square’s loveable landlord Alfie Moon in EastEnders amongst numerous other television, film and stage appearances.

    Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, audiences will join the most heroic outlaw of them all as the arrow-shooting hero Robin Hood strives to win the hand of the beautiful Maid Marian while he and his trusty band of Merry Men outwit the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in a show full of action, adventure, music, laughter and audience participation.

    So grab your merry men and women and don’t miss the sheriff-busting, arrow-shooting, tights-wearing, hog-roasting pantomime extravaganza!


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    Mayflower Theatre has announced that Britain’s Got Talent finalists Flawless will complete the principal line up of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, joining the fab-u-lous Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood and The Chuckle Brothers in this year’s forthcoming must-see pantomime from 15 December 2017.

    The street dance troupe, made world famous having competed in the third series of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, have been a mainstay of the hip-hop dance scene for over a decade having been formed by Marlon Wallen and Ameila Benoit in 2005. That same year the troupe won the annual National UK Street Dancing Championships and made their television debut on the BBC’s The Slammer.

    In 2009 the group (consisting of Swoosh, Bounce, Steady, Oddey, Jepp, Gilly, King and Riz) auditioned for the third series of Britain’s Got Talent, unanimously winning over the show’s judges and voting public with their array of spectacular routines which saw them progress to the show’s finals. The following year the boys took to the road in their Chase the Dream tour, which played major theatres in the UK for three months, was released on DVD and, due to popular demand, sent back out on the road in 2011.

    They made their feature film debut in 2010 in StreetDance 3D and its 2012 sequel StreetDance2, made guest appearances in EastEnders E20, collaborated with MOBO and Urban Music Award winner Chipmunk and appeared alongside Kylie Minogue in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen at the Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace which was broadcast live to the nation. They have also made several guest appearances on Strictly Come Dancing alongside Craig Revel Horwood and the show’s professional dancers, as part of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and made history collaborating with the English National Ballet.

    Flawless will star as the Wicked Queen’s attendants alongside Craig Revel Horwood and The Chuckle Brothers.

    A well-known face on television in the UK, and now all over the world, Craig Revel Horwood has acted as a judge on all thirteen series of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing and in recent years returned to his roots as a performer in musical theatre, starring as Miss Hannigan in the UK tour of Annie, as well as directing and choreographing productions including the current UK tour of Sister Act and Son of a Preacher Man, which opens later this year.

    The Chuckle Brothers, who will play the Wicked Queen’s bumbling Henchmen, are known to generations of children for their popular prime-time children’s television show Chucklevision, of which more than 290 episodes were made. The series proved to be so successful that in 2008 BAFTA presented Paul and Barry with an award for ‘services to British children’s television’. During the mid-nineties Paul and Barry also recorded three series of their own TV game show and have since toured the UK extensively, even releasing a charity single with Tinchy Stryder. Paul and Barry have been a staple in pantomime every year, making audiences chuckle at major venues across the UK every Christmas for 50 years. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs marks their Mayflower pantomime debut.

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and the team behind the annual Mayflower pantomime.

    Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive of Mayflower Theatre said: “I am thrilled that Flawless will be joining Craig Revel Horwood and The Chuckle Brothers for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs this Christmas. Flawless will be bringing a bit of sparkle to our already brilliant panto with their breath-taking routines. You don’t want to miss this”

    With over 60,000 theatregoers attending the annual Mayflower pantomime each year, tickets for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are selling fast. To ensure they don’t miss this year’s Strictly Flawless production, audiences should cha-cha-cha down to the Box Office to guarantee their tickets (with Chuckles galore) for this year’s unmissable production.


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    Swansea comic, writer, performer and magician, Stefan Pejic returns to the Grand Theatre as Aladdin’s archenemy, the evil Abanazar.

    Aladdin will mark Stefan’s third season playing the role of the villain for Qdos Entertainment and his second season at Swansea Grand, having played Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2014/15. Prior to unleashing his ‘evil’, Stefan had played more likeable pantomime characters, including Buttons in Cinderella, Willy Do-It in Beauty and the Beast and Simple Simon in Jack and the Beanstalk.

    Talking about his return to Swansea Grand Stefan says;

    “I am thrilled to be performing once again at my theatrical home and will be reprising the role of Abanazar which I played last year in Wolverhampton. I am very happy to be working once again with long-time buddy, Kev Johns.”

    Stefan began acting at the age of 7 and was soon enjoying early success in many TV shows for CBBC, CITV and Nickelodeon as well as appearing in commercials for WH Smith, Kellogg’s and McDonald’s.

    Roles followed in the HTV soap Nuts and Bolts as Spikey, Simon in BAFTA Award -winning S4C drama, Con Passionate, Andy Belden in BBC Casualty, Davey Campbell in Doctors and also a minor role in Sherlock.

    More recently, Stefan has completed a number of screen roles including in the Emmy award-winning DaVinci’s Demons, Simonda in Grim: A Tale of Death and Tyler in Internal Bleeding. He will shortly be seen as Tate in the Zombie thriller Generation Z The Rezort, starring alongside Dougray Scott and Claire Goose.

    An ex-member of the youth musical theatre group, The Sir Harry Secombe Trust, Stefan will make a guest appearance at its 15th birthday celebration at Swansea Grand Theatre on Saturday 2 September.

    Stefan is a hugely diverse performer and is a much sought-after comedy writer, stand-up comedian and magician.

    When he is not performing himself, Stefan lends his experience to teach up-and-coming performers at local drama schools and youth groups in Wales, running various courses. He is a proud patron of the charity Stars and Moonbeams.

    Aladdin runs from 15 December to 14 January and also stars Tony Maudsley (Benidorm), Matt Edwards (Britain’s Got Talent finalist 2017), Kevin Johns and Dooby Duck and Friends. Tickets are available from the Box Office on 01792 475715 or can be purchased online at www.swanseagrand.co.uk and are £12.50 - £26.00*. Opening weekend offer; all tickets £19.00*

    *All tickets include a 50p Restoration Fund contribution. Online booking fee applies.


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    Emma Williams and Lukus Alexander complete the principle casting for the London Palladium Pantomime this Christmas playing the role of Alice Fitzwarren and Eileen the Cat respectively. They will join the previously announced Julian Clary (Spirit of the Bells), Elaine Paige (Queen Rat), Ashley Banjo (The Sultan) and Diversity (The Sultan’s Special Advisors), Paul Zerdin (Idle Jack), Nigel Havers (Captain Nigel), Gary Wilmot (Sarah the Cook) and Charlie Stemp (Dick Whittington).

    Dick Whittington will run at the London Palladium for five weeks only over the festive season from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018, with press night on Wednesday 13 December 2017 at 7pm.

    Dick Whittington is produced by Nick Thomas and Michael Harrison for Qdos Entertainment, the team behind last year’s twice Olivier-nominated London Palladium production of Cinderella, which

    broke box office records for the highest grossing week in West End theatre history. Dick Whittington is

    written by Alan McHugh, directed by Michael Harrison, choreographed by Karen Bruce with musical supervision and orchestrations by Gary Hind, lighting by Ben Cracknell, set designs by Ian

    Westbrook, 3D Creations, costumes by Hugh Durrant, visual special effects by The Twins FX, projection design by Duncan McLean and sound design by Gareth Owen.

    Emma Williams completes an award-winning run as Helen Walsingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noël Coward Theatre tomorrow having also played the role at Chichester Festival Theatre alongside Charlie Stemp. She returns to the Palladium where she made her West End debut as Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Her other theatre credits include Mrs Henderson Presents at the Noël Coward Theatre, Zorro at Garrick Theatre and Love Story for Chichester Festival Theatre as well as in the West End. Her television credits include Silent Witness, Casualty, Bleak House, Doctors, Marple: The Body in the Library, Heartbeat and Where the Heart Is.

    Lukus Alexander’s recent theatre credits include the UK Tour of The Who’s Tommy, Dick McWhittington at the SECC, Glasgow, Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Guys and Dolls at Cambridge Arts Theatre and Doctor Atomic at the London Coliseum.

    As the world’s biggest pantomime producer, over the past 35 years Qdos Entertainment has established itself as one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe. Over the past three decades the pantomime giant has staged 684 pantomimes and this season expects over two million people will see one of its shows this season.


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