5ive's Ritchie Neville to Appear in Southport's Jack and the Beanstalk This Christmas

Southport Theatre are delighted to announce that 5ive star Ritchie Neville will be playing the title role in their spectacular family panto Jack and the Beanstalk this Christmas.

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Ritchie shot to fame in the late 90s, aged just seventeen, when the band released the single ‘Slam Dunk (Da Funk)’. They went on to sell over 40 million records world-wide including ‘Keep on Movin’ and ‘If Ya Getting Down’. The band teamed up with rock legends Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen to open the BRITS and took ‘We Will Rock You’ to number one in the UK.  They also performed two sell-out world tours and had four number one albums.

Ritchie moved to Australia, returning to the UK for The Big Reunion reality documentary and tour and appearing in the first series of Channel 4’s The Jump. Ritchie is now a regular presenter on Hits Radio with a Sunday slot celebrating the hits of the 90s and 00s as well as still performing all over the world with 5ive.

Ritchie is no stranger to panto having appeared in Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and says about appearing in panto in Southport this year: “I am over the moon to be stepping back into panto-land.  I’ve never played Jack before and it is going to be a lot of fun and laughter.”

Emma Lloyd Creative Director said: “Last year’s panto was the most successful since 2012 and we received amazing feedback from audiences. We see pantomime as a hugely important element of our yearly programme and part of our long term plan to develop a programme of fantastic, top-quality theatre alongside music, comedy and more.”

“Ritchie Neville in the starring role is amazing, a huge draw for us and we look forward to presenting something very special with our partners Imagine Theatre this year”.  

Steve Boden, Managing Directing of Imagine Theatre, “We are delighted that Ritchie will be performing in Jack and the Beanstalk in Southport for us this Christmas. He is a really strong performer and has a cheeky chappie personality which is perfectly suited to the role of Jack.” 

“The popularity of the panto has been growing steadily in the last few years and we are promising another fantastic show this year. We had sell-out performances last year so we recommend booking tickets early.”

Don’t miss this GIANT of a pantomime. Jack and the Beanstalk runs from Friday 13 – Sunday 29 December 2019.

To book tickets call the box office on 01704 500036 or book online at www.waterfrontsouthport.co.uk

 For more information or to book tickets call 01704 500036 or visit waterfrontsouthport.co.uk (booking fees apply)

Gigantically Great Review for Eden Court's Jack and the Beanstalk

 Jack and The Beanstalk, Eden Court Theatre, 2018

“the sense of fun was evident from the start in this panto which edged towards being sweet and funny rather than being loaded with adult-friendly double entendres…the youngsters in the audience loved it.”

Please click here to read the full review in the Press & Journal

Eden Court Junior Chorus Auditions for Jack and the Beanstalk This Weekend

This Sunday, 26 August, Eden Court are holding open audition for children aged 9-16* for the the biggest pantomime of them all - Jack and the Beanstalk. *Please see the venue page on the website for more information. http://www.imaginetheatre.co.uk/pantomimes/2018-jack-and-the-beanstalk-inverness

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Eden Court Panto Cast Announced

Eden Court are delighted to be able to announce their full cast for this year’s gigantic family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

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Once again Steven Wren will be both directing and starring in the show as Dame Trot as well as being the lead scriptwriter. The hilarious Ross Allan returns to play Jack with Marj Hogarth as the Fairy and joining the team this year are Chris O’Mara as the villainous Foosty McScunner, Graham MacKay-Bruce as the King and Jennifer Neil as Jill.

Ross Allan is delighted to be returning to Eden Court, and in particular to be playing the title character. “It is great that I get to play Jack – hopefully it means I get the girl this year. My only reservation is that I'm slightly scared of heights so no idea how I'll cope with the beanstalk!”

“I love working with the multi-talented Steven Wren!! It never really feels like work when you get the chance to work with friends, and we get on really well together both on stage and off.”

New to the Inverness panto team this year, Chris O’Mara cannot wait for his first appearance at the venue. “This is the first time I’ve performed at Eden Court, but the theatre’s reputation precedes itself! I performed in many amateur pantomimes when I was younger but last year was my first professional panto, playing the Prince and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. It was so much fun - there is no better feeling in live performance than having an audience shout at you, and you’re allowed to shout back!!”

“I am really looking forward to playing a baddie I think it’s every performer’s dream to have hundreds of children booing and hissing at you on stage!! I’m so looking forward to becoming the villain, that I’ve been scowling at children I pass in the street, evil laughing whenever I see someone trip up, and stealing sweets from babies! But seriously, I’m thrilled to have the chance to switch it up and become the bad guy for a change!”

Steve Boden, Managing Director of Producer’s Imagine Theatre, says “we are thrilled to have Steven Wren and Ross Allan back as they work so well together on stage and the Eden Court audience love them. Having played the baddie in her last few appearances I can’t wait to see Marj playing the goodie for once! We have a great cast with an hilarious script, not to mention a fantastic giant, so we promise another fabulous show this festive season.”

Jack and the Beanstalk runs from Tuesday 4 Dec until Sunday 6 January 2018.

For more information or to book tickets call the Eden Court box office on 01463 234234 or visit the website

Porthcawl's GIANT of a panto is fully cast!

The Grand Pavilion are delighted to announce they are fully cast for the giant family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

 Alongside the previously announced Jolyon Dixon as Dame Trot, Nathan Guy as Simple Simon and Rebecca Craven as the Fairy are Jeremy Cave as Fleshcreep, Jessie Lilley as Jack, Rasheeda Ali as Princess Tamara and Jamie Anderson as the King of Merrydale.

 Like Neath born co-star Rebecca Craven, Rasheeda is a local girl who hails from Bridgend. “I used to come to Bridgend Youth Theatre at the Grand Pavilion and so I've spent a lot of time at this very theatre and I am delighted to be making my panto debut here. There's always been such a great selection of productions at the Grand Pavilion. I've seen musicals like The King and I and South Pacific, I've seen pantomimes here and even Giselle the Ballet.

 It has already been a busy year for Rasheeda who has played the role of Pinky in Meera Syal's Anita and Me at Theatre Royal Stratford East and as Deepika in Bring on the Bollywood at the Belgrade Theatre.

 For co-star Jeremy Cave it will be his first time in Porthcawl but his second playing Fleshcreep and he says “Fleshcreep is definitely my favourite character to play in the panto world - who doesn't want to play the baddie really? It's great - the character himself is so flamboyant. I get to strut around stage like a combination of Elvis and Russell Brand and make fun of everyone, great stuff!” 

 As well as touring How Lion Became the King of Tinga Tinga Land playing the zebra Zalika Jeremy has been working on a very different project - editing, directing and producing his own documentary on the Stone Age period in Cornwall.

 Jeremy says “Panto for me is all about family - you become a family with your cast and theatre crew as you basically live and breathe with each other over the Christmas period and it's also amazing when you see families bring their children to their first pantomime...hopefully I won't scare them too much!”

 Jessie Lilley has recently been starring in The Inn at Lydda at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. This will be her second pantomime for Imagine Theatre having previously played Dandini in Cinderella at the Hexagon in Reading.

 “I am really excited to be taking on the role of Jack as he is a fun and adventurous character, as well as being a little bit cheeky!”

 Jack and the Beanstalk runs from Friday 9 until Saturday 31 December 2016. After two record breaking seasons we advise booking tickets early to ensure you get seats at your preferred performance.

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.”

Newark's Giant weekend of panto!

If you need evidence that the festive season is almost upon us then you needed to look no further than Newark two weekends ago when the Palace Theatre held both the panto launch and the auditions for the Junior Chorus.

 The town was taken over by the panto cast on Saturday, including former Grange Hill and EastEnders star Todd Carty, and there were flashbacks to Todd’s EastEnders days when he got behind a fruit and veg stall in the market – although we don’t remember him being dressed quite like that in EastEnders!

 Todd says “This is the first time I have ever been to Newark and it seems a really lovely town, well – apart from it raining all day! I am very interested in history so can’t wait to have a proper look around the Civil War Centre when I am here over Christmas.”

 On Sunday it was time to hold auditions for the youngest members of the panto cast with the Junior Chorus auditions for 9-16 year olds.

 Graeme Pickering, who choreographed the auditions said “The standard of the all of the children who auditioned for us was very high and it was exceptionally difficult to select the 16 children for the two main teams as we would have loved to have everyone in the show.”

 Sarah Boden from Imagine Theatre who produce the panto at the Palace Theatre said “We have been auditioning children for panto here for many years now and it was great to see some familiar faces amongst the auditionees as well as some brand new ones.”

 “One of the most important things we look at is of course their dancing, however, it is really important that the children have a little something extra as well that makes them stand out from the crowd.”

 “The children will have a lot of hard work ahead of them but it is also a lot of fun and a great opportunity for them to be part of a professional production.”

 Come and join us for a ‘gigantic’ festive treat with Jack and the Beanstalk which runs at the Palace Theatre from Wednesday 7th until Saturday 31st December 2016. 

Newark Palace's Panto Jack and the Beanstalk is Fully Cast

The Palace Theatre, Newark are delighted to announce that they are fully cast for their giant pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk this Christmas.

Alongside the previously announced television star Todd Carty and the hilarious Kevin McGreevy the Palace are delighted to welcome Tim Freeman as Dame Trot, Felicity Skiera as Jack, Ann Micklethwaite as the Queen of the Flower Fairies, Kate Eaves as Princess Tamara and Niki Burne as the Queen of Merrydale.

Tim is a highly experienced theatrical performer and has appeared in numerous productions throughout the country as well as fifteen pantomimes. Recently Tim has been touring in the children’s show Not Now Bernard for Colchester’s Mercury Theatre.

Tim also played Mr Wopsle in the film Great Expectations alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and David Walliams.

Both Felicity and Kate played the roles of Jack and Princess in last year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk in Leamington whilst Ann previously played the role of Fairy at the Victoria Theatre in Halifax in 2014.

Ann says “The last time I played this role I fell over on some ice on opening night and broke my arm and spent the rest of the run with my arm in a cast so I am hoping for better luck this time!” 

Jack and the Beanstalk is an action packed pantomime as the hero Jack has to climb the beanstalk to the giant’s liar, fight him and rescue his beloved Princess Tamara but Felicity Skiera is not daunted by taking on the challenge once again. She says “Jack is a really fun character to play as he is quite feisty and the giant used in the show is brilliant and always produced big gasps from the audience when he appears, so being in the scene where I get to fight him is excellent.”

Kate adds “I am really pleased to be working with Felicity again as we had a great time last year and I have heard wonderful things about both Newark and the Palace Theatre.”

Niki Burne will be playing the Queen of Merrydale and says “I absolutely love panto season and this will be my first year back since having my little boy and I can’t wait to play royalty – I hope it means I get to boss everyone else around!

Demontfort Hall, Leicester's Junior Chorus is Full of Beans!

This weekend saw the Jack and the Beanstalk Junior Chorus auditions take place at De Montfort Hall Leicester.

More than 150 children turned up to audition for the panto and Louise Redmond, who choreographed the auditions says “It was a brilliant, but tough day. The standard of the children was really high so we had a challenge on our hands to select just 16 children for the two main teams, Baked Beans and Runner Beans, as well as a team of reserves.”

“The children have a fabulous panto season ahead of them, Jack and the Beanstalk is a really fun show to do with some spectacular dance routines that the kids will love.”

“I would like to say a big thank you to all the children who came to the auditions, and the parents who waited around patiently all day. Massive congratulations to those of you who were chosen to take part in the panto, but to those children that didn’t make it in to the show this year, we hope you come and audition again for us next year.”