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

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

Fairy Tale Cast for Halifax Panto

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It is not just the weather that is hotting up in Halifax – panto fever is also getting in to full swing at The Victoria Theatre and they are delighted to be able to reveal some of their casting for this year’s magical family pantomime Snow White.

Neil Hurst is returning for his tenth panto season to play Jingles the Jester and he is being joined by Jolyon Dixon as Dame Dolly Mixture, Tom Milner as Prince Michael and Felicity Skiera as the Wicked Queen.

Neil says: “There are many things that make playing the comic role so much fun, the sketches, the daft costumes, the song sheet; but probably the best part for me is the interaction I get to have with the audience. The audience is the extra character in every panto and every audience reacts in a different way so for me the not knowing what we are going to get, reaction wise, is exciting and the best part of being the comic.”

Neil has just finished a UK tour of the Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends the Musical and he is about to start filming Agatha Christies' The ABC Murders alongside John Malkovich and Rupert Grint before starting work on a radio drama for the USA called The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Neil will not be the only local performer with Halifax’s Tom Milner joining the cast as Prince Michael. Tom has appeared on The Voice as well as in Waterloo Road and has recently recorded his first album as well as touring America, Jamaica and Europe.

Dame, Jolyon Dixon, is very excited to be spending his first panto season at The Victoria Theatre. “I have heard great things about the venue and I am really looking forward to playing such a big and beautiful looking space and working with the legend Neil Hurst. I adore panto and in playing the dame I get to wear all these amazing frocks, but it’s the interaction with the audience and making them laugh that is the biggest reward.”

Felicity Skiera has appeared as principal boy in both Jack and the Beanstalk and Aladdin and is delighted to play such a different role this year.

“I have always wanted to play the Wicked Queen in Snow White so I am really excited. I have enjoyed playing Jack and Aladdin but cannot wait to be wicked this year and get the audience booing me!”

After a smash hit success with Aladdin last year The Victoria Theatre recommend buying your tickets early for the fairest panto of them all.

Snow White runs from Thursday 13 December 2018 until Saturday 5 January 2019.

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

Familiar Faces Return to Eden Court for Snow White This Christmas

The Eden Court’s pantomime preparations are well under way and they are delighted to announce the return of many familiar faces for this year’s production of Snow White.

Taking on the dual roles of director and dame for the second-year running is Steven Wren, with the hilarious Ross Allan returning for more slapstick fun as Jingles the Jester. The role of Prince will be taken on by David Rankine, who was last at Eden Court in the title role of Aladdin in 2014 and the iconic role of the Wicked Queen will be played by Marj Hogarth who is thrilled to once again be playing a baddie having played Carabosse in Eden Court’s 2013 production of Sleeping Beauty.  

Steven says “I had a wonderful time playing dame last year – it was just so much fun getting back on to the panto stage again after five years away from it. The Eden Court panto team are great so it enables me to be able to both direct and perform. We do have a new member of the team this year in Lesley Wood who will both choreograph and assist me with directing the show, and once again the fabulous Will Marshall is back as our Musical Director.”

Marj Hogarth is delighted to be back in Inverness “I love working at Eden Court because it's a beautiful theatre that is very much at the heart of the community of Inverness. I love that people travel enormous distances to come to the pantomime, and I take the responsibility of that dedication very seriously. Although I couldn't get much further away from home as I now live in England!”

“I have been playing the panto baddie for 25 years. It's always a joy. We all love to be a little bit scared, and I love playing formidable women. The Wicked Queen in Snow White is one of the most well-known of the panto ‘bad girls’ and I am sure I will have great fun in the role.”

Recently Marj has been writing a series of female characters that will form a one woman show as well as being involved in developing immersive theatre experiences for children and young people with special needs. 

This year both Ross Allan and David Rankine have appeared in productions at the Edinburgh Science Festival. Ross has been appeared in Uncanny Valley for Borderline Theatre Company / The Gaiety Theatre Company while David starred in Cosmonaut. David has also Appeared in Avoidable Climbing for the Take Me Somewhere Festival, Real Hoosewives Fae Glesga for the Pavilion Theatre and Lost in Music with Magnetic North.

Ross says “Inverness is definitely like a second home to me now as I have spent nearly two months here every year for the past five years. I obviously worked with Steven last year and I was also in Aladdin with David and Sleeping Beauty with Marj and it will be great to work with all of them again.”

David is delighted to be taking on the role of the Prince. “Over the last few years I have played the title role in Aladdin and the arrogant and vain Hunter in Beauty and the Beast and I will be playing a dashing Prince this year. They are all very different roles and I feel very fortunate to get the opportunity to play so many contrasting characters.”

Stephen Boden, Managing Director of Imagine Theatre who produce the pantomime, says “We are thrilled to have such a strong cast coming together for Snow White. Ross is very popular with the Eden Court panto audiences and is now in to his fifth year with us, and teaming up with Steven Wren last year was a great success so we are delighted to have them both at the helm once again. David is a really versatile performer who has a great understanding of panto and Marj plays a wonderful baddie. With such a fabulous cast in place I am really confident that Snow White will be another brilliant panto.”

Snow White is one of the most popular tales of them all so we advise booking your tickets early to avoid disappointment. The panto runs from Tuesday 5th December 2017 until Sunday 7th January 2018

A Fairytale Cast for Beacon Arts Centre’s Snow White

Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock are delighted to be able to announce that casting is well under way for their spectacular family pantomime Snow White.

After a hugely successful 2016 season with Beauty and the Beast Beacon Arts Centre are promising another festive treat with many of the cast returning for another year of panto fun. Once again Jane McCarry gets to strut her stuff as the baddie of the piece as she plays the Wicked Queen with Still Game co-star Mark Cox returning to play her Henchman. Donning an array of elaborate frocks will be Jimmy Chisholm as Dame Dolly Mixture with Lee Samuel causing more mayhem than ever as Jingles the Jester.

Jane and Mark have a busy year ahead of them filming series 8 of the hugely popular comedy Still Game over the summer but are looking forward to being back in Greenock for the festive season.

Jane says “Mark and I genuinely had a lovely time at the Beacon last year. It's a beautiful building with a combination of the best view the best audiences anywhere in the UK. This will be my second time playing a baddie and I can't wait..... ohhhh it feels good to be bad and the Wicked Queen will have a costume to KILL for. I might sneak it in my bag after the run!”

Well away from the world of panto, Jimmy has recently been starring as Autolycus in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at the Lyceum Theatre to rave reviews.

“I am thrilled to be back at the Beacon as Dame again. I had a lot of fun as Dame Betty last year and all those costume changes certainly keep me fit and I am really looking forward to working with Lee again!”

 Snow White runs from Friday 8 December until Sunday 31 December 2017.

Youngsters chosen to appear in Snow White at Southport Theatre

If you need evidence that the festive season is almost upon us then look no further than a group of excited youngsters who have been chosen to appear in Snow White at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre this Christmas.

Auditions for children aged 9-16 were held at the venue at the weekend and Dane Bates, 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 22 children for the two main teams as we would have loved to have everyone in the show.”

Louise Redmond, Head of Casting for producers Imagine 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.”

The children will be starring alongside Home and Away legend Lynne McGranger who is stepping away from her lovable character Irene Roberts to play the Wicked Queen, as well as Jason Marc-Williams as Dame Dolly Mixture, Alistair Barron as Jingles the Jester, Harriet Payne as Snow White and James Leeman as Prince Michael.

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Jason Looking Forward to Panto Fun in Southport This Christmas

Southport Theatre and Convention Centre are delighted to announce that Jason Marc Williams will be donning a dress to play Dame Dolly Mixture in their spectacular family pantomime Snow White this Christmas.

This will be Welsh born Jason’s first year as Dame in Southport, however, as he explains, he is no stranger to the role. “I have been at the Courtyard Theatre in Hereford for the last three years, and for the last two I have played Dame in Beauty and the Beast and Jack and the Beanstalk, having played the very different role of Baron Hardup my first year. I have also played idle Jack in Dick Whittington and Muddles in Snow White for other companies across the UK so I have almost covered the whole spectrum of panto characters apart from Princess!”

“I really love panto and growing up in Swansea I was always taken to see the panto at the Grand Theatre each Christmas. I think it is very important for children to have family traditions like that. As a child I really loved all the silly slapstick, and to be honest, I still love that! It is great that Southport is by the sea as I live on the coast so it will feel a bit like home.”

“I absolutely love playing dame as I get to wear some amazing costumes and wigs and I get to have a lot of fun on stage being silly – what a wonderful job! And of course, being panto there is always the risk that things will go wrong and a couple of times last year my dame costumes came undone when on stage which Imanaged to turn in to a huge comedy moment and it became part of the panto fun.”

In typical panto tradition Jason’s dame character does have rather a silly name to go with her outrageous costume and hilarious panto antics. “I love the fact my character is called Dame Dolly Mixture but I think it is going to give me sweet cravings for the whole panto season. I am very partial to Skittles and fruit gums so will have to get a stash of those for the dressing room!”

Away from the craziness of panto Jason also plays more serious roles. “Aside from panto I have also been lucky enough to play some other brilliant roles too, for example Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dan In Night Must Fall. I am a massive Harold Pinter fan I would love to play Stanley in The Birthday Party.

Jason will be starring alongside Home and Away legend Lynne McGranger in the panto which opens on Friday 9 December and runs until Saturday 31 December 2016.