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Perfect Panto Star to Play da Pavilion in Peter Pan

Posted: 24 May 2016 - by Christopher

Richard ‘Dick’ McCourt, known to millions as one half of legendary kids’ comedy duo Dick & Dom, is set to keep the fun flowing this Christmas when he joins an all- star panto production of Peter Pan at The Pavilion Theatre Worthing. With more than twenty years of entertaining the nation under his belt, the family favourite funny man is prepped to pack Peter Pan with plenty of pedigree panto comedy, as the hilarious pirate Smee!

Richard first burst onto our screens with comedy partner in crime Dominic ‘Dom’ Wood in 1996 where the pair brought after school mayhem and madness to kids’ TV diets. As they took their first steps into the wild and wacky world of kids’ telly, the duo could have little idea that they’d carve out a lasting, award winning TV career that would see them celebrate their twenty years on the showbiz circuit in 2016.

After cutting their comedy teeth in the 90s on kids’ telly, the boys went on to front their  own  live  weekend  entertainment  show  on  BBC1  in  2002  to  much  critical acclaim.  Dick and Dom in da Bungalow became a double BAFTA award winning sensation for the BBC, running for five seasons and firmly confirming the duo’s status as one of the most memorable and entertaining names in showbusiness. The loose  game  show  format  of  the  show  put  family fun,  live  in-studio  games  and sketches and good-natured friendly competition back on the TV landscape, making the boys a popular and hotly anticipated part of family weekend viewing.

Fast forward to 2006, the boys had bounced from da Bungalow and were building up their broadcast portfolio, presenting The Sunday Morning Show on BBC Radio 1 and two series of the hit show Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old? for Sky 1. In 2009 the allure of the magical world of kids’ entertainment led the boys back to CBBC with two brand new shows, The Legend of Dick and Dom and Da Dick and Dom Dairies (the best of Da Bungalow).

On top on their TV talents, Dick and Dom have enjoyed success on stage and the big screen. They earned rave reviews for their roles in feature film Horrid Henry: The Movie in 2011. They’ve equally made a name for themselves on the touring circuit, headlining Butlins twice with an 80 date sell out tour before treading the boards to critical acclaim in the West End starring as King Arthur and Patsy in Monty Python’s Spamalot.

Pantomime Producer Paul Holman said “I am delighted to have secured such a showman as Richard to play Smee. His fine comic talents, energy and enthusiasm make him the perfect addition to our all-star cast.”

Speaking of his pantomime role, Richard said “It’s incredible to play a part in Peter Pan which has some of best audience participation, scenery and magical moments of any theatre production. I get such a buzz from performing live and feel so excited about having big laughs with audiences in Worthing – is there any better way to spend Christmas?!”

 Richard joins an all-star cast in The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan running from  2  December  until  8  January  2017  at  The  Pavilion  Theatre.  Tickets  are available from Worthing Theatres’ box office (01903 206206) and online (www.worthingtheatres.co.uk).

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Pop Princess to star in Peter Pan

Posted: 20 May 2016 - by Christopher

Pop hit maker, X Factor finalist and star of the stage, Amelia Lily, is poised to bring pantomime magic to The Pavilion Theatre, Worthing this Christmas in the spectacular swashbuckling family pantomime Peter Pan. Amelia will be putting her powerhouse vocals to use as she joins an all-star cast production as the feisty, fun- loving Tiger Lily.

Amelia shot to fame in 2011 in one of the most watched and critically acclaimed series of hit telly talent contest The X Factor. The series, which saw peak viewing figures of 13 million went on to pick up a National Television Award in 2012 for Best TV Talent Contest. Amelia’s powerful renditions of pop-rock classics, alongside her unique look and strong stage presence proved popular with judges and the viewing public alike, earning her comparisons to Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera to name just a few. Amelia regularly topped the public vote from week to week, eventually going on to reach the finals where she finished in third place behind Marcus Collins and Little Mix.

After the show, she was signed by Sony, securing a £500,000 recording contract with the music industry giant. Her first single You Bring Me Joy was described as ‘impressive’ and ‘pop at its best’ by critics and went straight into the charts at number Two. The follow-up singles Shut Up (And Give Me Whatever You Got) and Party Over were both well-received, making the top twenty and top forty respectively. As an established name on the pop circuit Amelia toured the UK and supported both Girls Aloud and Olly Murs on their sell out arena tours in 2013.

Aside from her pop career, Amelia has notched up an impressive number of theatrical credits, having starred in leading stage productions across the country. She made her musical theatre debut in the classic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and in 2015 was announced as leading character Whatsername in the West End premiere of Green Day's hit punk rock musical American Idiot and this year sees her take to the road in the inaugural UK tour of the smash hit show.

Speaking of her role Amelia said “I am thrilled to be starring in such a huge production as Peter Pan which has all the top musical numbers, showmanship and staging that people love in a brilliant pantomime. I’m so excited for Christmas.”

Amelia joins an all-star cast in The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan running from 2 December until 8 January 2017 at The Pavilion Theatre. Tickets are available from Worthing Theatres’ box office (01903 206206) and online (www.worthingtheatres.co.uk).

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Blackwood brings panto magic to Derby

Posted: 20 May 2016 - by Christopher

West End star, TV and radio presenter, stand-up comic, and star of BBC’s EastEnders Richard Blackwood is sure to bring comedy capers and his years of experience to Derby Arena as he joins the cast of the all-star family panto Cinderella, playing everyone’s favourite character, Buttons.

Richard first set his sights on entertaining at the tender age of eight, after watching the legendary comic Richard Pryor live in concert. He cut his comedy teeth on the school bus standing up to bullies and became a regular face at the famous Comedy Store.

Critically acclaimed and a regular face on the comedy circuit, Richard was catapulted into the limelight with his own Channel 4 programme, The Richard Blackwood Show. A culmination of comedic improvisation, celebrity interviews and music, the show allowed Richard to demonstrate his emerging lyrical talent. In 1996 Richard fronted MTV’s prime-time music request show, MTV Select and appearances on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Take Away, Holby City, Casualty, Britannia High and Ed Stone is Dead plus the critically acclaimed box office hit movie Anuvahood have made him a household name and kept him busy on the large and small screen.

A number three hit Mama Who Da Man show-cased Richard’s talents in a new light and also saw him host Top of the Pops and The Smash Hits Awards. His tongue-in-cheek approach to hip-hop exposed him to an array of new fans searching for light relief in a genre usually associated with gang culture and had critics dubbing him, ‘south London’s answer to Will Smith’.
In 2004, Richard joined Choice FM (now Capital XTRA) – the UK’s leading urban station and together with fellow broadcaster, Kat B, the duo were the most-listened to show on the station’s weekend schedule. In 2007, Richard landed his own show on the station, RB’s Sunday School. His no-nonsense approach to community issues proved to be popular amongst his audience and the station soon launched RB Real Talk, a series of monthly seminars to empower, inspire and motivate young people based on this model.

In 2009 Richard turned his attention to stage work, treading the boards at London’s Novello Theatre in the Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer prize-winning classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He went on to wow critics and West End audiences alike when he starred at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as Donkey in the box office smash-hit Shrek the Musical for 715 sell-out performances until the show’s close in 2013.

In 2015 Richard was catapulted back onto the small screen and back into our living rooms, joining the cast of EastEnders as smooth operator Vincent Hubbard. He made his debut in the thrilling live episode in February 2015 during a week of celebrations to mark the hit soap opera’s 30th birthday. A complex character with many layers, Vincent’s charm, quick wit, good looks and bad boy behaviour have kept viewers hooked!

Richard Blackwood said:
“I am so excited to be joining the cast of Cinderella at Derby Arena. I always have so much fun on stage and love having laughs with the audience. The show is staged by award-winning producers and will be a real spectacle sure to deliver big fun, energy, music and entertainment!’

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said:
“I am delighted to have secured such a brilliant actor as Richard to play Buttons. It’s the perfect part for him to showcase his warmth, energy, enthusiasm and big personality and will give him every opportunity to dish out his quick-fire one-liners, charm and mischievous behaviour!”

Richard will star alongside TV-sensation Eilish O’Carroll who plays the hilarious Winnie McGoogan in much-loved sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys and Lloyd Warbey, all-round entertainer and presenter of the classic children’s show, Art Attack.

Cinderella runs from Tue 6 Dec – Tue 3 Jan at Derby Arena. Tickets are on sale now from Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800 and online at www.derbylive.co.uk.

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Popular Irish Mammy Swaps Dublin for Derby

Posted: 20 May 2016 - by Christopher

TV sensation Eilish O’Carroll, star of hit show Mrs Brown’s Boys in which she plays Winnie
McGoogan is set to bring her Irish humour to Derby’s biggest ball, Cinderella, at Derby Arena.
Eilish, will be cast as the fairy godmother with a quirky Irish twist, guiding Cinderella on her journey
to find true love.

As Winnie, Agnes Brown’s hopeless yet loveable neighbour in Mrs Brown’s Boys, Eilish has
brought Irish slapstick, comedy, and good natured ‘craic’ into the living rooms of millions! It’s this
brand of comedy that has made the show a runaway success around the world, regularly
attracting audiences in excess of 11 million in the UK alone.

Now Eilish will be bringing her wit and humour to the Derby LIVE and Paul Holman Associates
co-production of Cinderella. Not known for being the brightest button in the tin, Winnie can
misunderstand a joke or mispronounce a word leading to hilarious consequences. In one
memorable episode she asked the waiter for ‘a quickie’ after misreading the menu which actually
said ‘quiche’.

Eilish O’Carroll’s work on Mrs Brown’s Boys has earned it the coveted title of the most watched
television programme on Christmas Day 2014 and has spawned an internationally successful
stage show, and a big screen spin-off, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, which topped the box office
in the UK and Ireland in its opening week.

Away from the hit show, Eilish has made appearances in films, Snap, Sparrow’s Trap and a short
film called Noreen. She also penned, performed and toured her own one woman theatre show
Live Love Laugh, which went on to achieve rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for its
touching, yet humorous and life affirming look at Eilish’s own eventful life.

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said “I am thrilled that Eilish - a lady known to millions for her laugh-out-loud comedy talents – is joining our all-star pantomime at Derby Arena. As a sensationally popular performer who packs out theatres wherever she goes, Eilish is sure to continue our tradition of providing big laughs and comedy moments for all the family.”

Eilish will star alongside TV personality and EastEnders star Richard Blackwood and children’s television favourite and presenter of Art Attack, Lloyd Warbey.

Cinderella will be on stage from Tuesday 6 December 2016 until Tuesday 3 January 2017, with tickets priced from £11.25 and concessions, group, school and family tickets available.

With tickets already on sale, it’s never too early to book for this fantastic festive treat – call the Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800, pick your seats online at derbylive.co.uk, or book in person at the Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby.

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An Art Attack hits Derby Arena

Posted: 20 May 2016 - by Christopher

Actor, presenter and host of the legendary children’s TV classic Art Attack, Lloyd Warbey, is set to swap his paintbrush for pantomime as he joins the cast of Derby’s all-star panto for Christmas 2016, Cinderella. Best-known to children for his fun-loving attitude, quirky style and passion for creativity, Lloyd is sure to keep the fun factor flowing as Prince Charming’s faithful sidekick, Dandini.

An experienced performer, Lloyd completed his professional training at the prestigious East 15 acting school, where he developed a love for theatre, performance and live entertainment. His passion for the stage saw him tread the boards in the UK tour of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Jungle Book and Peter Pan to name just a few of his theatrical credits. Derby audiences may remember seeing Lloyd in Derby LIVE’s production of The BFG at Derby Theatre in 2011 and 12.

But it’s as the enthusiastic, larger-than-life presenter of the long-running kids’ telly favourite Art Attack that Lloyd is best known to children all around the country. The much-loved show, aimed at sparking the imagination and creativity of children, first shot to success in 1990 and has remained a staple of kids’ TV diet ever since. Unique in its concept, the show takes the viewer on a fun-filled journey through the various stages of producing something artistic step-by-step. Hosting the iconic show is a dream come true for Lloyd, who watched the programme religiously as a child and tried to recreate the makes! A presenter on the series since 2012, Lloyd has so far filmed four seasons of twenty seven episodes for the popular Disney Channel.

Speaking of his role Lloyd said: “Dandini is just the perfect role for me! He has that cheeky chappy edge that everyone loves, so I’ll have so much fun bringing the character to life on stage. I’m no stranger to Derby, as I’ve performed here on many different tours over the years. The audiences here are some of the best in the country so I’m excited to get them involved in the action and to make panto magical for everyone.”

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said: “Lloyd is a first-rate entertainer and performer who will deliver a knockout performance in Cinderella. We are thrilled to have him join our already sensationally talented cast, in what is shaping up to be one of biggest pantomime productions we’ve ever seen in Derby.”

Lloyd will complete a trio of top talent as he stars alongside TV personality and EastEnders star Richard Blackwood and TV-sensation Eilish O’Carroll who plays the hilarious Winnie McGoogan in much-loved sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Cinderella will be on stage from Tuesday 6 December 2016 until Tuesday 3 January 2017, with tickets priced from £11.25 and concessions, group, school and family tickets available.

With tickets already on sale, it’s never too early to book for this fantastic festive treat – call the Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800, pick your seats online at derbylive.co.uk, or book in person at the Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby.

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X Factor star to play Peter Pan at The Pavilion

Posted: 18 May 2016 - by Christopher

He is best known as a finalist in the sixth and most watched season of The X Factor and later this year, Lloyd Daniels will be joining the cast of the spectacular swashbuckling pantomime Peter Pan at The Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.

Lloyd, who headlined The X Factor 2010 arena tour, taking in 58 different venues, and selling-out across the country, comes to Worthing having headlined Bill Kenwright’s UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Lloyd has earned both rave reviews from audiences and shot to critical acclaim with five star reviews branding him ‘the perfect Joseph’. He has also starred in three previous pantomimes, oppositeCoronation Street’s Bruce Jones, Loose Women’s Andrea Mclean and Eternal vocalist Vernie Bennett.

As a solo artist, Lloyd has had chart success with his EP Suburbian Girl and has a loyal following of fans across the country. Aside from the music world, a string of television interviews, shoots with national magazines and touring theatre productions have ensured that Lloyd has never been far from the spotlight since he left The X Factor stage.

Speaking about the pantomime Lloyd said: “Peter Pan is an amazing production and I am thrilled to be bringing it to Worthing. The big musical numbers, fabulous costumes, staging and stunning flying sequences all put together by award-winning producers, ensure that there’s something for everyone. I can’t wait to get on the stage.”

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said: “I’m thrilled to be working with Lloyd again. Along with his fabulous vocals, he brings real charisma combined with charm to create the laddish charm and mischief of Peter Pan.”

Lloyd joins an all-star cast (to be announced) in The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan running from 2 December until 8 January 2017 at The Pavilion Theatre. Tickets are available from Worthing Theatres’ box office (01903 206206) and online (www.worthingtheatres.co.uk).

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New Theatre Royal announces the glittering lead cast for Santa Claus – The Musical

Posted: 13 May 2016 - by Christopher

Initial casting has been announced for the hit West End show Santa Claus - The Musical, which is coming to New Theatre Royal this Christmas.

Mark Read, former member of Brit award-winning boyband A1, will be taking the role of Joe the Chief Elf in the spectacular show, which runs from the 9th - 31st December and will see the theatre transformed into a fairytale winter wonderland.

With two decades in showbiz among his many credits, the talented singer songwriter is no stranger to the theatre, having enjoyed successful stints in hit shows Guys and Dolls, new West End musical Seasons of Love and a starring role in Cinderella.

Mark Read commented: “I am thrilled about coming to the New Theatre Royal. Portsmouth has some of the most brilliant audiences in the country so I can’t wait to get on the stage and perform some of best known and loved Christmas songs in this magical festive show. I can’t think of any better way to spend the Christmas season! See you there!”

Joining Mark in this festive feast will be chart-topping singer and former Eurovision Song Contest star Nicki French, who represented the UK in 2000 with Don’t Play that Song Again.

Following her Eurovision appearance, Nicki went on to win the Weakest Link Euro Special raising £13,000 for Cancer Research, and had international chart-topping success with the hit dance track Total Eclipse of the Heart reaching number one in the UK and spending six months in the American Billboard charts.

The acclaimed singer is now set to deliver a diva-style performance as the muddled, scheming Ice Queen.  

Jason Sutton, best known as his famous alter-ego Miss Jason, will also be joining the star-studded cast in the role of Santa Claus’ PA, Miss Drift.  As a seasoned cabaret star, Jason will be bringing his own brand of flamboyant fun to his role as the beloved dame.

More casting for the show will be announced soon.

Early bird tickets are now on sale, audiences who book before 31 August will receive 10% discount on ticket prices*. Standard and Gold performance tickets start from £16 to £25 with preview show tickets from just £12.

Visit www.newtheatreroyal.com or call the box office on 02392 649000 to book tickets.

*Early bird offer not available on Preview or School performances 

Notes to Editors: 

About Santa Claus – The Musical - Presented by Paul Holman Ltd, Santa Claus – The Musical will be showing from 9th- 31st December 2016. The hit West End show will feature spectacular scenery, colourful costumes and a host of festive characters including dancing penguins and polar bears. A live band will have audiences of all generations dancing along to classic Christmas hits such as Here comes Santa Claus, Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

About New Theatre Royal - Established as a theatre in 1854, New Theatre Royal has enjoyed over 150 years as a cultural landmark in the heart of Portsmouth. Since 2012, the theatre has been undergoing a refurbishment project of over £4.5 million to restore the historic building back to its former glory and modernise the theatre. Scheduled to re-open in October 2015, the theatre aims to deliver an eclectic programme of diverse acts and events including theatrical classics, comedy shows and musical performances – it will be a central hub to facilitate and inspire creative talent in the local community.

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The Kitten’s out the Bag: Atomic Kitten star joins 911 frontman in panto at the Pomegranate

Posted: 10 May 2016 - by Christopher

A magic carpet tale of adventure is set to touch down in Chesterfield with two multi-million selling  pop  stars  leading  the  line-up  of  the  family  favourite  pantomime Aladdin  this Christmas at The Pomegranate.

Atomic Kitten star and Celebrity Masterchef winner Liz McClarnon, will take to the stage as the stunning Princess Jasmine, while 911 frontman and star of the stage, Lee Brennan, will take on the title role as our hero Aladdin.

Liz is best known as one third of Britain’s most successful girl group of the noughties: Atomic Kitten. The group experienced phenomenal success, going on to have 15 singles reach the top 10 in the UK, including the number 1 hits Eternal Flame, The Tide is High and their biggest selling single Whole Again which sold over a million copies in the UK alone. The girls’ popularity led to global record sales of over ten million, chart success and sell out arena tours at home and throughout Asia and even a slot to perform at Buckingham Palace in front of a TV audience of millions for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in 2002.

After the girl group went their separate ways, Liz achieved chart success in her own right, landing a top 5 hit with her version of the classic Barbara Streisand song Woman in Love, which was produced for her by Bee Gee Robin Gibb.

Away from the music world, 2008 saw Liz back on our screens for an altogether different reason – swapping microphone for apron, she embarked on a new challenge when she entered Celebrity Masterchef. Five million people regularly saw her take on everyone and every challenge put in front of her, where her natural culinary ability and hard work helped secure her the title of Celebrity Masterchef 2008!

Cooking took Liz into the world of television, leading to regular appearances on panel shows and opening doors for her as a presenter. She has hosted the National Lottery for BBC1, interviewed the hottest names in music for MTV and fronted her own series for BBC3. Not forgetting her musical roots, Liz took to the stage in the lead female role in The War of the

Worlds  starring  opposite Jason  Donovan and hit the road in the touring production of Legally Blonde where she starred as Paulette.

Fast forward to January 2013 and Liz was back with Atomic Kitten, starring in ITV2’s huge smash hit fly on the wall documentary The Big Reunion, which documented the real life ups and downs of being part of a reunited pop band. Watched by over two million people, an arena tour followed which saw Liz and the kittens perform to over 200,000 people along with bands Five, B*Witched, Blue, Liberty X and 911!

After joining forces for a smash hit tour of pop nostalgia, Liz is set to be reunited with fellow popstar Lee Brennan, the lead singer of hit boyband 911. Lee and the lads shot to fame with chart-topping hits such as A Night to Remember, Bodyshakin, Don’t Make Me Wait and A Little Bit More. The band’s debut album The Journey spent 17 weeks in the UK charts, was awarded a gold disc and even went 12 times platinum in Malaysia, such was their success and appeal.

Four more studio albums, including a Greatest Hits, and 14 singles kept the boys in the charts and the public eye from 1996 to 2000. As the millennium approached the hit-makers were one of just five acts in the decade to achieve 10 consecutive top 10 singles in the UK. The lads had become one of the biggest and most recognisable faces of the 90s pop scene, selling more than ten million records and playing to thousands in sell-out arena tours in the UK, and 70,000 people in Singapore alone on their tour of Asia.

Away from the group, Lee has clocked up years of experience on the stage. He has played to thousands in  headline pantomime roles around the country, including four consecutive appearances as Peter Pan, and a headline role cutting loose on stage in Footloose, The Musical alongside stage star  Maureen Nolan.

Liz and Lee will star in Aladdin at The Pomegranate Theatre from 2 December to 3 January 2017.  Tickets  are  available  from  the  theatre  box  office  (01246  345  222)  and  online (www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk).

 

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Just Announced: Soap Heartthrob to star in Panto at The Palace

Posted: 09 May 2016 - by Christopher

EastEnders actor, Dancing on Ice Champ and star of the West End stage, Sam Attwater, is set to appear at Redditch Palace Theatre in the classic family pantomime Beauty and the Beast

Sam will play Gaston the local lothario and wooer of our heroine Belle.

Sam has been a regular fixture on our screens since his first foray into soap land in 2009.

After completing his professional training at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts Sam landed his first TV gig playing Ricky in the popular Chester based soap Hollyoaks. Following a stint on the hit show, Sam became a regular on Eastenders, stepping onto the infamous Albert Square as the effortlessly cool East End bad boy and ladies’ man Leon Small. A student, who often bunked off school in favour of the boxing ring, Leon quickly earned a reputation as one of the square’s biggest womanizers, becoming involved in some of the soap’s biggest storylines in the process.

From the dramas of the East End to Dancing on Ice, Sam took part in the sixth series of the smash-hit skating show. Over the ten week series Sam rung up top scores with the all-star judging panel and the viewing public alike, going on to spin, arabesque and butterfly jump his way into the final where he and his partner Brianne performed The Bolero in front of Jane Torvil and Christopher Dean and over nine million viewers a home! They were crowned the winners of the popular programme with this final passionate performance winning them the hearts –and votes! - of the public! Due to Sam's success on the show he was invited back for the final 'All Stars' series in 2014 where he was paired with professional dancer Vicky Ogden. Finishing in fourth place their professional partnership came to a close but a whirlwind romance followed with the dancing pair tying the knot later that same year. 

Among his many theatrical credits are leading performances in End of the Rainbow, Dreamboats and Petticoats, The Rocky Horror Show and Jason and the Argonauts to name just a few.  With time spent treading the boards, in addition to his film work and a guest appearance in the popular ITV drama Mr Selfridge Sam has never been out of the limelight since he took his first steps onto the Hollyoaks set! 

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said: “I am thrilled to have such a talented and accomplished actor taking the lead at the Palace Theatre. His years of showbiz experience will bring flair to this fabulous festive production.”

Beauty and the Beast opens on Monday 5th December and plays till Saturday 31st December 2016. Tickets are available now from the box office (01527 65203) and online (www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk).

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Just Announced: Britain's Got Talent winner Jai McDowall to charm Cinderella!

Posted: 26 Apr 2016 - by Christopher

Carriageworks Theatre audiences are set to be charmed this Christmas when musical heart-throb and Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall takes on a princely role in Leeds’ traditional pantomime Cinderella running from 2 December 2016 – 7 January 2017.

Jai fast became a firm favourite with millions in the popular talent contest, winning a legion of fans for his powerhouse vocals and unique classical renditions of pop hits. Branded ‘one to watch’ and the ‘dark horse’ of the competition by star judge Amanda Holden, Jai successfully sang his way into the live final. He took to the stage for the final time in front of 13 million viewers with an emotional rendition of the Josh Groban’s hit “To Where You Are.” His powerful vocal secured his victory, scooping him a cool £100,000 prize along with a coveted slot at the 2011 Royal Varity Performance.

Following his victory he took centre stage on The Britain’s Got Talent tour, playing to thousands at some of the biggest venues around the country. Having made his mark as a strong vocalist and performer, Jai signed to Simon Cowell’s music label Syco and released a debut album Believe that was well received by fans and critics alike.

Pantomime Producer Paul Holman said “Following on from a record breaking run of Aladdin last year I am thrilled to have Jai joining Leeds panto legend Jez Edwards in what is already shaping up to be a stellar cast of sensational talent. Jai’s charm and amazing vocal talents and Jez’s warmth and comedy capers will ensure this production of Cinderella is a truly magical festive experience for all the family.”

Jai McDowall said “Panto is such an amazing family tradition at Christmas and I can’t wait to play a part in all the fun. I’m so excited about teaming up with Jez and playing in the heart of Leeds which always has some of the best and most lively audiences in the country!” Cinderella’s carriage and all the cast call at Carriageworks Theatre from Friday 2 December to Saturday 7 January 2016.

Tickets start at just £10. Full listings and prices can be found online www,carriageworkstheatre.org.uk 

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Former model and Emmerdale star wafts into Bridlington for some wickedness this Christmas!

Posted: 23 Mar 2016 - by Christopher

Paul Holman Associates and The Spa Bridlington are delighted to announce that Lorraine Chase will headline this year’s pantomime performing the role of Wicked Queen in their 2016 pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Lorraine has been a household name since the 1970s when she starred in a series of drinks commercials; bringing the phrases, “Nah, Luton Airport” and “Nice ‘ere innit?” into common use and scoring 41st place in the nation’s all-time favourite commercials.

Now with a distinguished career; she is most associated with the role of ex-convict, Stephanie Forsythe in Emmerdale.  She was prominent in many controversial storylines until, in November 2006, her character was sentenced to life in jail.

Lorraine also appeared as Dolly Clothespeg in the ITV series Wurzel Gummidge and was a regular contestant on Blankety Blank.  More recently she has been seen in the BBC’s Doctors and My Family and is probably most memorable to a younger audience when she parachuted 12,000 feet into the jungle for I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

This wasn’t the first daredevil feat she had attempted.  She has completed a free-fall from a helicopter and light aircraft, abseiled and parachuted with the British Army from a Hercules and flown a Hawk jet with the Royal Air Force.

Legendary comedy writers Dick Clements and Ian La Frenais, famous for The Likely Lads, Porridge and Lovejoy amongst many others, wrote the comedy series The Other ‘Arf specifically for Lorraine.  It ran for four seasons and was followed by Lame Ducks, which also starred John Duttine and Brian Murphy.On stage, Lorraine has appeared in west end productions of Me and My Girl and Run for Your Wife and toured the country as the lead in the box-office smash-hit musical Little Shop of Horrors.  She has also toured with Pygmalion, Key for Two, The Late Edwina Black, Love Me Slender and as Lena Lamont in Singing in the Rain at Lincoln Theatre Royal.

Tickets for this family favourite pantomime are on sale now via www.TheSpaBridlington.com or at the box office on (01262) 678258.

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Magic Maestro Michael makes his Return!

Posted: 03 Mar 2016 - by

After six years of making pantomime magic and mischief, comic, and all round showman Michael Otton is hoping it’s lucky number seven as he returns to The Spotlight, Hoddesdon. Michael will be flexing his magic muscles in everyone’s favourite family pantomime Cinderella, as everyone’s favourite panto character, the adorable Buttons!

Michael has built up a loyal fan base in Hoddesdon and the local area and in 2014 was named as the patron of performing arts school, The Vallé Academy. Michael said “I love pantomime in Hoddesdon. Every year I love bringing panto to life with new magician’s routines. The audiences are incredible and are always ready to participate and join in the fun of panto.”

Michael has brought seasonal revelry to thousands and has added extra sparkle to pantomimes with his energetic performances and stunning routines. He captivates audiences of all ages with magic and illusion, from thrilling escapology to mind-boggling prediction, always keeping comedy at the heart of his routines. Over the years, he has entertained audiences worldwide, working in theatres, resorts and also on board cruise ships. He also spent two years performing for Disney.

Over the years, he has worked with, and performed for, a variety of star names, including Kylie Minogue, Peter André, Victoria Beckham and Ant & Dec, and starred in an ITV documentary about his life as an entertainer.
He has picked up many awards along the way (including Entertainment Personality of the Year), performed magic live on BBC Radio Berkshire and has been featured in many national newspapers.

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said “I am thrilled to have Michael returning to Hoddesdon. His performances are packed with magic and excitement that set the perfect tone for pantomime.”

Don’t miss Michael in panto land from Wednesday 14 December until Friday 30 December 2016. Tickets are available from The Spotlight box office (01992 441946) and online (www.broxbourne.gov.uk/thespotlight).

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