Leicester's in for a GIANT of a panto!

With Christmas fast approaching De Montfort Hall are delighted to have completed their principal casting for their spectacular family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

As previously announced Leicester’s own X-Factor winner Sam Bailey will be playing the role of Fairy with the hilarious duo of Martin Ballard and Jon Clegg back to play Dame Trot and Simple Simon. Alongside them will be Sinead O’Callaghan in the title role of Jack, Connor McAllister as the wicked Fleshcreep and Miracle Chance as Princess Tamara with James Sinclair playing the role of the King.

This will be Connor’s second visit to De Montfort Hall as he previously appeared at the venue in the 2007 tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in which he played Monsieur D’Arque. Connor has had a busy year touring in the hugely popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats but can’t wait for panto season to arrive.

“This will be my sixth pantomime for Imagine Theatre who produce the show and my third time playing Fleshcreep. I've also played the Genie in Aladdin twice and made my Dandini debut in Cinderella last year in Newark. Fleshcreep is definitely my favourite panto character as I get to be funny, cheeky and nasty all at the same time. I am looking forward to seeing what new things I can bring to the character this year.”

“I also can’t wait to bringing my cheeky Glaswegian Fleshcreep to De Montfort Hall, having a laugh with such an incredible cast and, of course, being able to release my inner diva and belt out a song or two with Sam Bailey.”

Sinead O’Callaghan’s role came about through her previous work with the pantomime’s Director Michael Strassen, who also directed last year’s acclaimed production of Snow White.

“I was lucky enough to work with director, Michael Strassen on the world premiere of Duncton Wood in London and I'm happy to say from that romp in the woods he thought I'd be good at climbing beanstalks as well as trees! Before Jack, I will be playing Evita which will be very different but in her own way she climbed to the heights as well.”

This is Sinead’s first pantomime and she says “I am delighted to be playing in the ancient tradition of girls playing boys. It's very different now as girls can have the world at their feet but I'm hoping to show boys they don't have to be nasty to be a man -just brave and daring. Jack is an adventurer, I think that's a lesson to everyone. It's my first time in Leicester and I can't wait as I've heard so much about the wonderful De Montfort Hall.”

For Miracle Chance panto will be a great opportunity to stay in the same place for a few weeks as she has spent much of the year touring in the hugely popular Footloose the Musical as Urleen after making her Glastonbury debut in 2015. Likewise James Sinclair has had a busy year on the road as he has been touring in the all male HMS Pinafore.”

Steve Boden, Managing Director of Imagine Theatre who produce the show says “We are all really excited about this production of Jack and Beanstalk – with such a amazing cast we are sure it is going to be something very special.”