A Magical Star Line-up for De Monfort Hall's Panto

De Montfort Hall are delighted to announce a truly magical line-up for their spectacular family pantomime Aladdin.

Local star and winner of the X Factor SAM BAILEY returns for her fourth year and will be playing So Shi. Joining her are Blue star ANTONY COSTA as the wicked magician Abanazar, Milkshake presenter NATHAN CONNOR as the Genie of the Lamp, Britain’s Got Talent finalist PAUL BURLING as Wishee Washee, magicians MATTHEW POMEROY and NATASHA LAMB as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, with BBC Radio Leicester’s MARTIN BALLARD as Widow Twankey.

Antony Costa rose to fame with Blue in 2001 when their debut single ‘All Rise’ reached number four in the UK singles charts, with the album of the same name reaching number one in the album charts.

No stranger to theatre Antony appeared in the West End in Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, toured in Boogie Nights and he is currently touring the UK in the musical Rock of Ages as well as appearing in numerous pantomimes over the years. Antony was a contestant in the 2005 series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and has appeared in both Casualty and Holby City.

"I'm thrilled to be playing Abanazar in Aladdin at De Montfort Hall. The audiences have always been amazing in Leicester so I can't wait to have a great Christmas playing the baddie!"

Sam Bailey is hugely popular with DMH’s panto audience and at De Montfort Hall she has played Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk, Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast and Shoo in Peter Pan, for which she won Best Supporting Female at The Great British Panto Awards, and is delighted to be returning for Aladdin.

“There’s just something about panto isn’t there? Families and friends, young and old all coming together for one afternoon, or evening, of comedy gold.”

“And, for me there is something extra special about panto at De Montfort Hall. I am very lucky that my career takes me all over the world, but nothing quite beats performing in your hometown which is why I am delighted to be taking to the stage at De Montfort Hall once again. The venue is magical at Christmas and performing in front of fellow Leicestershire people is one of my most favourite parts.”

Nathan is a familiar face to children across the country as he has been a presenter on Milkshake since 2017.

“I cannot wait for panto to start and I am most looking forward to showing my body popping moves as the Genie. I’ve always loved Aladdin and to get the chance to play the Genie is amazing! The Genie is funny, energetic and quite cool so I can’t wait to dive in and perform at De Montfort Hall this year. Bring it on Leicester!”

Another familiar face from television is Paul Burling who rose to fame on Britain’s Got Talent, reaching the final with his hilarious impressions of numerous famous people and cartoon characters. Due to his huge popularity ITV gave Paul his own one hour special show called It’s Paul Burling! Alongside his television appearances and live shows he is a veteran pantomime performing, having appeared in nearly 30 pantomimes all over the UK.

De Montfort Hall are delighted to be able to bring some extra magic to the panto stage this Christmas with professional magicians Matthew Pomeroy and Natasha Lamb. The duo have performed all over the world and, as well as being magicians, both Matthew and Natasha have trained in performing arts and are looking forward to combining these talents in Aladdin this festive season.

Of course, panto just wouldn’t be panto without a dame, and who better to take on the role of Widow Twankey than the fabulous BBC Radio Leicester presenter Martin Ballard. Martin is a well-known and hugely popular figure across Leicestershire. As well as his radio presenting his voice will be familiar to Tiger’s fans as their matchday announcer. Martin has been performing in pantomime for nearly thirty years, and is delighted to be popping on a frock once more to play Dame at De Montfort Hall for the fifth consecutive year.

Antony Flint, De Montfort Hall general manager, said: “We are thrilled to have Sam and Martin back on board after proving themselves to be pantomime favourites. Antony, Nathan and Paul will further enhance this remarkable cast.

“Panto is now firmly in the festive calendar for our audiences – and this year will be bigger and better than ever.” 

Aladdin runs from Saturday 14 December 2019 until Sunday 5 January 2020.

Comedy Favourites Return for Porthcawl Panto

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The sun has been shining in Porthcawl as summer is getting into full swing in the seaside town, however that is not stopping The Grand Pavilion looking ahead to panto season.

 The venue are delighted to announce that Vern Griffiths and Kyle Tovey will be returning for their magical family pantomime Snow White this Christmas after proving a smash hit in last year’s production of Sleeping Beauty.

 Vern is looking forward to putting on the frocks once more to play Dame and says “The Grand Pavilion is where I saw panto as a child, plus all the locals are lovely, so it has a special place in my heart.”

 “Playing Dame is great as I get to be everybody's Mam - and who wouldn't want that?! It's an honour to be (with Kyle) one of the characters that gets to interact with and be on the audiences' side. We get to draw them into our bonkers panto world, and send them away with a smile on their face! Also, I am hoping I get to soak the audience with water pistols again this year!”

 Kyle, on the other, has mixed feeling about water pistols! “I won’t forget running through the theatre last year with a water pistol only for an audience member to get their own back by throwing a whole bottle of water over me!”

 He continues: “It was an absolute delight being in Porthcawl last year. Having done panto away from Wales for a number of years hearing the roar, from what has to be one of the loudest audiences, really reinforced that I was back in my homeland. This goes hand in hand with how up for a laugh the audiences.”

 “Playing the comic always feels like you make hundreds of friends during every show as very often it’s the comic that gets to know the audience best through participation so I truly do love the role.”

 Snow White runs from Friday 13 December 2019 until Sunday 5 January 2020. With many of the performances selling out each year it is advised that you booked as early as possible for this fairy tale production.

 For more information or to book tickets contact the Grand Pavilion box office on 01656 815995 or visit www.grandpavilion.co.uk

The darling buds of May are shining through - Croydon Blog 4 - May 2019

Ore Oduba will play Dandini in Cinderella

Ore Oduba will play Dandini in Cinderella

The spring sun is shining, the grass is growing well and the buds are breaking out on the trees, leaving a fresh carpet of green and the feeling of fresh, new beginnings. It’s no different in the world of pantomime with the buds of our ideas starting to burst out into full blown concepts and progress.

May is the time when casting starts to fall into place, costume and set designs are being finalised, scripts are being written and the final pieces of the production and creative team are falling into place.

The most exciting bud to spring into life this month is the announcement that TV Star & Strictly Come Dancing Champion Ore Oduba will be joining us at the Ball this Christmas to play Dandini. Whilst he is no stranger to theatre and stage performance, and he’s a brilliant ‘song and dance’ man, this will be Ore’s panto debut. Click here to see the ‘official’ press release

Ore Oduba, Tim Vine, Cat Sandion, Jason Marc-Williams and Alistair Barron all star in Cinderella

Ore Oduba, Tim Vine, Cat Sandion, Jason Marc-Williams and Alistair Barron all star in Cinderella

It turns out that Ore already knows his co-stars Tim Vine and Cat Sandion well, as they’ve all worked together in the past. When they met up at our recent photo shoot, it was like three pals who’d known each other for years having a good catch up over a cuppa. Along with our two outrageous Ugly Sisters Jason Marc-Williams and Alistair Barron, there was a lot of laughing going on. This all bodes well for the panto.

Another bud which is really starting to burst through this month is that of the marketing of the venue and the show. Work is still progressing really well on the building and all is on schedule for the re-opening in September, but we’ll talk more about that in a later blog. Building a marketing campaign from scratch, as the team at Fairfield Halls are having to do, is a huge undertaking. Luckily there is a brilliant team in place, led by Kevin Quilty.

The printing of the venue brochure is under way, and it is due out any day with a brilliant programme of events planned for the opening season. It’s a massive sign that the venue is ready to burst into life and to return to what it does best – providing absolutely top-class entertainment. We’re thrilled to not only be bringing Cinderella to the Halls, but we’re also Justin Live starring CBeebies super star Justin Fletcher. That production will be at Fairfield Halls over October half term, on 22nd & 23rd October 2019.

The set and costume design ‘bud’ has so nearly also burst into flower. Mark Walters is continuing work on the designs, and every time we see them, they literally take our breath away. We’re so excited about his designs and cannot wait to tell you more about them. It’s unlike anything you will have ever seen in the pantomime world before. We just can’t quite tell you yet…

So, it’s onwards into June where we will see the final designs of set and costume before they head off to the workshops to be made, and the auditions for the children’s ensemble, which take place on Sunday 30th June. We cannot wait.

At this stage we just have a ‘white card’ model of the concept of the set. with lots more detail to follow. Watch this space!

At this stage we just have a ‘white card’ model of the concept of the set. with lots more detail to follow. Watch this space!

Josh is a smash hit in Halifax!

When we decided to introduce new panto comic Josh Benson to Halifax, we knew it’d be a fun day. We didn’t realise just HOW MUCH fun it would actually be!

Hailing from York, Josh is very much a Yorkshire lad. This year he joins the cast of Beauty and the Beast at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax as the comic, playing the role of ‘Josh’ (see what we did there?).

Whilst Josh is new to Halifax audiences, he is absolutely no stranger to panto, having taken Chesterfield audiences by storm last year.

Josh has got some big shoes to fill, taking over the role that Neil Hurst inhabited for 10 years. However, all those who met him around Halifax recently will vouch for the fact that those shoes will be more than filled by Josh’s wonderfully effervescent personality, amazing comic timing and brilliant clowning ability.

Knowing how much the Halifax panto audiences love a custard pie or 10, we decided that the best way to introduce him to the town would be just that - a pie in every location!

We thought we’d take you through our day so you can see what we got up to! (and keep an eye out on social media for the video!)

Getting a pie in the face outside Harvey’s

Getting a pie in the face outside Harvey’s

Erm, are you sure you’re allowed to do that, Josh?

Erm, are you sure you’re allowed to do that, Josh?

Off to Halifax Borough Market…

Off to Halifax Borough Market…

Next up it was time to head to the Piece Hall (after bumping into the Halifax pink running man, but we didn’t get any photos) - surely Josh was safe from the custard pies here??

Next up it was time to head to the Piece Hall (after bumping into the Halifax pink running man, but we didn’t get any photos) - surely Josh was safe from the custard pies here??

Josh was very relieved to hear there were not going to be any pies at the Library, just a chance to borrow his favourite book, “Josh’s Joke Book”.

Josh was very relieved to hear there were not going to be any pies at the Library, just a chance to borrow his favourite book, “Josh’s Joke Book”.

Surely the staff at Eureka won’t pie Josh? Nope, wrong! Of course they will.

Surely the staff at Eureka won’t pie Josh? Nope, wrong! Of course they will.

Surely Josh is going to be safe outside the Minster with Revd Canon Hilary Barber?

Surely Josh is going to be safe outside the Minster with Revd Canon Hilary Barber?

Introducing Josh to some critical panto props

Introducing Josh to some critical panto props

Josh met Theatre Manager Tim Fagan - who was the first to put a pie in his face!

Josh met Theatre Manager Tim Fagan - who was the first to put a pie in his face!

We headed to Harvey’s to film - and the staff had fun pie-ing Josh (again!)

We headed to Harvey’s to film - and the staff had fun pie-ing Josh (again!)

I want to ride my bicycle….

I want to ride my bicycle….

Josh stops off to get himself a ‘new job’ card at Paper Wishes in the market

Josh stops off to get himself a ‘new job’ card at Paper Wishes in the market

…. and another pie in the face outslde Woresman’s Greengrocers, courtesy of Mick from Grosvenors butchers.

…. and another pie in the face outslde Woresman’s Greengrocers, courtesy of Mick from Grosvenors butchers.

Nope, of course not! This time it was a pie courtesy of Al’s Emporium!

Nope, of course not! This time it was a pie courtesy of Al’s Emporium!

Josh, we DEFINITELY know climbing up there isn’t allowed!

Josh, we DEFINITELY know climbing up there isn’t allowed!

5 minutes of down time outside the Minster…

5 minutes of down time outside the Minster…

Ha ha ha! Of course not. Nice shot Revd Hilary!

Ha ha ha! Of course not. Nice shot Revd Hilary!

The final visit of the day was to Shibden Hall… and naturally they wanted to play the new game ‘let’s pie Josh’ too!

The final visit of the day was to Shibden Hall… and naturally they wanted to play the new game ‘let’s pie Josh’ too!

Fairfield Halls, Croydon gets set for a 'Strictly' sensational pantomime!

Imagine Theatre and Fairfield Halls, Croydon are delighted to announce that TV star and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba will be making his pantomime debut as Dandini in this year’s family pantomime, Cinderella.


Ore will be known to audience members young and old from his many TV appearances including The One ShowThis Morning and of course winning the fourteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing with his partner Joanne Clifton. Ore will be joined by the previously announced comedian Tim Vine as Buttons and CBeebies presenter Cat Sandion as Fairy Godmother.


Ore says:- ‘I have been wanting to do pantomime for a long time and when this opportunity came up I just couldn’t say no. Not only is it alongside two of my pals Tim and Cat who I have worked with before, but I also can’t wait to appear in the first pantomime at the newly refurbished Fairfield Halls. 


Although it’ll be a new experience for me, many people will know I’m rarely happier than when I’m on stage singing and dancing. And, of course, anyone who’s seen me and Craig Revel Horwood on the Strictly Live Tour (often in a precarious position!) will know I do love a bit of Panto. With this cast and creative team - and some amazing audiences in Croydon - I know there’ll be a lot of laughs along the way. I can’t wait to get started’.

 

Producer Steve Boden says:- ‘Ore was the perfect addition to the star line-up for our pantomime at the Fairfield Halls and we are thrilled that he’s making his pantomime debut with us. He will be amazing as Dandini. Along with Tim and Cat I think this pantomime really does deliver something for everyone and is perfect family entertainment for the festive season. We promise that this is going to be a spectacular show and we are busy working on a brand new production especially for the Croydon audiences. Everyone will be able to enjoy this show from small children right up to grandparents, because that is what pantomime is all about, creating memories with the family’.

The eagerly awaited refurbished Fairfield Halls opens in September and the pantomime will be at the heart of the Autumn/Winter season.

Will the evil Ugly Sisters thwart the path of true love for Cinderella and her Prince Charming or will her Fairy Godmother help save the day? Bring the whole family along to the Fairfield Halls this Christmas to find out, you’ll have a ball!

Cinderella runs from 10th December 2019 to 5th January 2020.

TV Star & Strictly Come Dancing Champion Ore Oduba has his invitation to the Ball in Croydon this Christmas!

TV Star & Strictly Come Dancing Champion Ore Oduba has his invitation to the Ball in Croydon this Christmas!

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Cinderella stars Ore Oduba as Dandini, Comedian Tim Vine as Buttons, CBeebies Cat Sandion as the Fairy Godmother and Jason Marc-Williams and Alistair Barron as the Ugly Sisters

Cinderella stars Ore Oduba as Dandini, Comedian Tim Vine as Buttons, CBeebies Cat Sandion as the Fairy Godmother and Jason Marc-Williams and Alistair Barron as the Ugly Sisters

Libby McArthur and Barbara Bryceland to Star in Aladdin at FTH Theatre

FTH Theatre Falkirk are delighted to announce that television star Libby McArthur and singing sensation Barbara Bryceland will be starring in their magical family pantomime Aladdin this Christmas.

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Libby, who will be playing the Empress, is a familiar face on Scottish television as she played Gina Hamilton in River City for eleven years as well as appearing in Taggart, Take the High Road, Hamish Macbeth and Rab C Nesbitt. She was also a founder member of the 80s pop group Sophisticated Boom Boom.

“I have appeared in two pantomimes prior to this, both times in Cinderella. I was at The Palace in Kilmarnock as the Wicked Step Mother and then later with Sally Howitt, who appeared in Cinderella here last year, as the Ugly Sisters. This will be my first time on stage at FTH Theatre and I am really looking forward to it.”

“I have memories of attending panto as a child with my school and being utterly engaged, enchanted, engrossed, encapsulated. Panto, like all good storytelling, is taking the risks for us, scaling the heights and plummeting to the depths that us ordinary mortals can only wish we could navigate, but with panto at least we are taken along for the ride!

“The thing I am really looking forward to about Aladdin more than anything else, is that most Scottish of traditions, the fourth wall collapsing, the banter when the weans chip in! Oh and just panto itself - Christmas, the whole pomp and ceremony and the agreement that we are all of us, just big weans!”

Barbara appeared on both The X-Factor and The Voice, and starred as Fairy Godmother in FTH Theatre’s first professional pantomime Cinderella last year and this year will be playing the magical Spirit of the Ring. She says “I absolutely loved appearing in panto last year as the cast and team were fantastic. It was my first pantomime and so was a great learning experience for me and I cannot wait to tackle a new role this year.”

Aladdin runs from Friday 6 – Tuesday 24 December 2019 so hurry and get your tickets before they fly out of the door!

 To book tickets to please contact box office on 01324 506850 or visit www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org

Adam Stafford Is ‘Dame’ For a Laugh at The Victoria Theatre This Christmas

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The Victoria Theatre are delighted to announce the return of dame Adam Stafford for their magical family pantomime Beauty and the Beast this Christmas.

 Adam was last at the venue two years ago for their smash hit production of Aladdin and is delighted to be returning for the show he made his Victoria Theatre debut in back in 2012, Beauty and the Beast.

 “As well as loving Halifax itself, I love performing at the Victoria Theatre. It's a proper old theatre and the audiences are always very appreciative and the theatre staff and crew are friendly and welcoming. I was sad not to get to do panto last year but I was living in Beijing directing a play for their Chinese National Children's Theatre which was a great experience.”

 In addition to Beauty and the Beast Adam is currently doing some work for Alton Towers on the new live Teletubbies show and developing a new musical. He also manages a tribute show, Suspiciously Elvis which has played all over the world. Before travelling to Halifax for the festive season he will also be directing a production of Aladdin near his home in London.

 Adam adds, “Panto is very close to my heart and I really love playing dame. It is a lot of hard work but great fun as well. The one bit of advice I would give to anyone wanting to play dame is don’t grow a beard as they always need shaving off for the panto season!”   

 “I am really looking forward to working with the hilarious Josh Benson as my new son this Christmas.” 

 Get your tickets now for this ‘beast’ of a show! Beauty and the Beast runs from Saturday 14 December 2019 until Sunday 5 January 2020.

 For more information or to book tickets please contact the Victoria Theatre box office on 01422 351158 or visit www.victoriatheatre.co.uk

Palace Theatre Panto Stars Return for a Magical Cinderella

The Palace Theatre are delighted to announce the return of four hugely popular panto stars this Christmas. Fraser Boyle will be sporting an array of outrageous costumes once more as an Ugly Sister, with James McAnerney as his equally vile sibling, the hilarious Gary Morrison as the loveable Buttons alongside the Ali Cleland as the villainous Wicked Stepmother.

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A spokesperson for The Palace said “Fraser, Gary and James have become huge favourites over the last few years and are an instrumental part of The Palace’s family focused style of pantomime and Ali received great acclaim (and plenty of boos) as Carabosse in last year’s Sleeping Beauty. Here at The Palace we pride ourselves on offering a top-quality pantomime which is suitable for all of the family to enjoy, and these performers are all a key ingredient in the success of pantomime due to their huge popularity with the panto audiences.”

This is Fraser’s fourth year as Dame and he is delighted to be back, “I have so many memories and things to look forward to every year at The Palace Theatre. From everyone who works backstage and front of house (and all our Christmas nights out!) there’s always a great team spirit and carry on to be had. I should probably say we all work hard too! But if I had to pick one favourite thing about The Palace panto I’d say it’s the audiences. This will be my fourth year at The Palace and I’m beginning to remember schools, groups and familiar faces in the audience. It’s so wonderful to see families who I recognise from the year before in the auditorium again. I feel so privileged to be able to play a part in their Christmas traditions. My Granny always took me and the rest of her grandchildren to see a pantomime every year and those memories are some of the happiest I have with my nearest and dearest. That’s what Christmas is all about. To be part of that now, as an actor, is something very special to me -  it always inspires me to give a little more (sometimes a little more than is in the script!), to make each and every performance unique and just for them. After all, without the audiences encouraging us all to make eejits out of ourselves we’d be performing to a wall!” 

Although the role of baddie is familiar to James McAnerney, less familiar will be the numerous hilarious and elaborate costumes he will be wearing as an Ugly Sister. He says “I played Dame Bella Straw (bale of straw) when I was at college in Jack and the Beanstalk and I have also played an ugly once before at Cumbernauld Theatre in their production or Cinderella but that was quite a long time ago. I am really looking forward to playing an ugly sister because it is a Dame that has been crossed with the panto baddie – two of the best roles in panto in my opinion. It is also great that you get to work so closely with the other Ugly Sister and the icing on the cake is that the other Ugly Sister is Fraser.”

“I’m so looking forward to working with Fraser and Gary again, as I think they bring so much warmth, passion and energy to the production and to the audience. And they are also great cast members to work with both on stage and off. This year I will get to work even closer with Fraser, which will be great. Although I didn’t think I would find myself saying to him, “you will need to give me some make up tips, and how to walk in heels!”

Gary could not agree more with his fellow cast members “My favourite thing about The Palace panto is without doubt the welcome that the audience gives us each year; they truly are fabulous. Also, working with Fraser and James is so much fun and a real pleasure, which definitely transfers across to the audience. We have been lucky enough to have been asked back for a number of years now and we know what The Palace audiences like and how much they are up for some festive fun!”

Ali is delighted to be back for her second year in The Palace Panto. “I loved being the baddie last year and I’m super excited to be keeping my ‘evil’ streak going. I really got into character last year by pranking some of my cast mates offstage, especially Fraser Boyle! I’ll be taking that craftiness and mischievousness back with me this year! Can’t wait!! 

Don’t miss out on the magical family panto Cinderella this festive season. The show runs from Saturday 23 November to Sunday 29 December 2019.

 To book tickets to please contact The Palace Theatre box office on 01563 554900 or visit www.eastayrshireleisure.com

 

Drip drip drop, little April Showers…. - Croydon Blog 3 - April 2019

Outside, time ticks on, and the signs of spring grow ever stronger. Inside the Imagine offices, April has been a month of huge activity on Cinderella at the Fairfield Halls, mixed in with the occasional shower (but thankfully no thunderstorms!) here and there! April showers really did live up to their name in the world of Cinderella.

 

First comes a casting shower! We are delighted to be able to announce that our Ugly Sisters have been cast! Jason Marc Williams and Alistair Barron join the Croydon cast, bringing within them a wealth of experience in pantomime. Both have appeared in the Imagine Theatre pantomimes for the past 3 years, and promise to be hilarious…. if their past on stage performances and photo shoot antics are anything to go by! They are outrageous and great fun for the whole family. There’s also some HUGE casting news to hit during May so keep your eyes peeled! We’re super excited.

Jason and Alistair get in front of the camera

Jason and Alistair get in front of the camera

 

There’s also been a shower of design work completed by Mark Walters! He’s sent the first design concepts through now, and we’re moving onto the next stage which is the white card model. We are so excited. The designs are absolutely stunning, and we can’t wait to let you in on some of the ideas we’ve been working on! More about that in our later blogs 😊

What an amazing place (with a fabulous name!)

What an amazing place (with a fabulous name!)

 

25th April saw a deluge of photos being taken as the stars of Cinderella gathered together for the photo shoot. Tim Vine, Cat Sandion and our ‘Uglies’ Jason and Marc were joined by a fifth, “yet to be announced”, cast member! We spent the day at Cherry Duck Studios in Wapping, and created some great content to share with you over the coming months. We hope you enjoy the behind the scenes images we’ve shared with this blog.

How much makeup does it take to turn the Ugly Sisters Ugly? Answer - quite a lot!

How much makeup does it take to turn the Ugly Sisters Ugly? Answer - quite a lot!

 

The venue will be launching their first brochure shortly, the work on the space is progressing really well, and all is on schedule for the re-opening in September.

So, we move into May and all the progress and excitement that will bring – watch out for our next update… oh, and that exciting casting news!

Tim Vine has Videographer Ben and Laura from Imagine in utter hysterics as he’s recording his videos. We had to retake it several times as all you could hear was the whole room laughing out loud behind him!

Tim Vine has Videographer Ben and Laura from Imagine in utter hysterics as he’s recording his videos. We had to retake it several times as all you could hear was the whole room laughing out loud behind him!

Jo adds the finishing touches to Jason’s makeup

Jo adds the finishing touches to Jason’s makeup

Jason Marc Williams and Alistair Barron play the Ugly sisters - and sometimes things didn’t quite go to plan at the photo shoot!!

Jason Marc Williams and Alistair Barron play the Ugly sisters - and sometimes things didn’t quite go to plan at the photo shoot!!

The amazing Cat Sandion from CBeebies plays the Fairy Godmother (thanks for making her look AMAZING, Jo)

The amazing Cat Sandion from CBeebies plays the Fairy Godmother (thanks for making her look AMAZING, Jo)

The utterly hilarious Tim Vine plays Buttons. He had us crying with laughter the whole day - here he is with his pet Boa…. don’t ask!

The utterly hilarious Tim Vine plays Buttons. He had us crying with laughter the whole day - here he is with his pet Boa…. don’t ask!

Who on earth does the fifth pair of shoes belong to?

Who on earth does the fifth pair of shoes belong to?

Selfie Time

Selfie Time

Cat grabs 5 minutes to put her feet up

Cat grabs 5 minutes to put her feet up

Alistair goes for the understated look

Alistair goes for the understated look

Craig and Laura are checking out the photos of Cat

Craig and Laura are checking out the photos of Cat

Panto Favourites JP and Sean Return to The Spa Centre for Another Fairy Tale Year

The Royal Spa Centre are delighted to have JP McCue and Sean Dodds returning for another festive season in their magical family pantomime Snow White this Christmas.

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 JP’s panto career at The Royal Spa Centre began with Snow White back in 2012 when he played Will the Jester.

 “I'm so excited to be returning to this fairy tale in a brand-new version for 2019 and even more thrilled to be playing Dame this time around. The comic is such a fun role but with the Dame there are more opportunities to be cheeky and cause a bit more mayhem and that is one of my favourite hobbies as anyone who has seen the previous Spa Centre pantomimes will know!”

 “It really is so special to me coming back to Leamington year after year, the town really is my Christmas home and I have so many wonderful memories of panto. Most of my onstage memories are of things going wrong, as that really stays with you; from forgetting lines to falling over far too much - it's all part of the fun and makes each show exciting for everyone, audience and cast members alike. The Spa Centre is a lovely, happy place to call home over the panto season. All the staff have always been so kind to me and I still get butterflies in my belly walking into the building for the first time each season even after seven years. Seeing how the panto has transformed over the last few years especially gets me excited to see where we can take it with Snow White and perhaps beyond.”

 Sean Dodds is also delighted to be back in his panto home for the season and to be re-united with his comedy panto partner JP.

 “The best thing about working with JP is that we both know how each other works and I enjoy the fact that if I want to do a bit of improvisation he will go along with it and vice versa! We also have a great relationship off stage as well which is why I think our chemistry is so good! It's like performing with a best mate!” 

 “For me, the best thing about panto has to be the freedom of it all; when we get into rehearsals we have a script and stage directions, but that is just the framework, the real fun is trying out new things and binging a bit of spontaneity into the performance. The way I see it is the more fun we have on stage, the more fun the audiences have coming to watch it! “

 With some performances already sold out The Royal Spa Centre recommend booking your tickets now to avoid disappointment. Snow White runs from Saturday 7 December 2019 – Sunday 5 December 2020.

 For more information or to book tickets please call 01926 334 418 or visit www.royalspacentreandtownhall.co.uk