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The One and Only Chesney Hawkes to play Prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Posted: 26 May 2017 - by Christopher Hall

This Christmas, pop legend, the one and only Chesney Hawkes is set to charm audiences of all ages as he plays the handsome Prince in Worthing Theatres and PHA’s family pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 1st December to 1st January.

The hitmaker was catapulted to fame in 1991, when aged 19 he played the lead in the film Buddy’s Song; a popular coming of age tale which featured a young Chesney juggling the teenage challenges of school and dating with the determination to become a world famous popstar.

Following the film, The One and Only was released from the soundtrack and became an instant hit at home and abroad, shooting to the top of the charts in the UK and making the top ten stateside. With five weeks spent at number one, the hit track became the twentieth most successful release of the 90s and has gone on to be the subject of numerous compilation albums, TV ads, TV theme music, film soundtracks and, now a student anthem, continues to top ‘Best pop song of the nineties’ polls.

Following the track’s release Chesney continued to enjoy success around the world, touring extensively and playing the festival circuit while also continuing to record fresh material, which led to chart recognition for seven more singles.

Away from the music world Chesney’s television appearances could form the basis of a slapstick comedy show but with added danger. Following his appearance on the Channel 4 show The Games he needed surgery on a hip injury. He put his dancing skills to the test on Let’s Dance for Comic Relief and, looking pain and humiliation squarely in the eye, he signed up for ITV’s Sing if You Can where, being asked to sing while a fire roared around him, he narrowly escaped being burnt to death. He then accepted an invitation to join the cast of ITV’s Dancing on Ice, until just before filming started he went on to the ice on his own, breaking an ankle and ruling himself out of the show.

Chesney’s accident prone history was hilariously summed up in John Bishop’s Panto, the ITV comedy drama in which Chesney played the role of a member of the cast forever doing damage to himself. He did though manage to redeem himself by surviving Celebrity Masterchef 2015 unscathed, going on to make the semi-finals on the popular cooking challenge show.

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said: “I am delighted to have secured such a top showman as Chesney to play our dashing prince. He has firmly established himself as a brilliant performer with top vocals, dancing and stage presence among his many credits. Worthing has some of the liveliest audiences every Christmas and Chesney is the perfect performer to get everyone going. It will be a stellar production.”

Further casting is set to be announced for the pantomime over the next few weeks.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs opens at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing from Friday 1st December 2017 until Monday 1st January 2018. Tickets are available from the Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206 206 and online at worthingtheatres.co.uk/snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs/.
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LISTING INFORMATION
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Date:   Friday 1 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018
Times: 10:15am, 2pm, 6pm, 7pm. (2 per day except 3 on Christmas Eve)
Venue: Pavilion Theatre, Marine Parade, Worthing, BN11 3PX
Price:   From £12.50 to £24.50
Box office: 01903 206 206 or online at www.worthingtheatres.co.uk

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Worthing Theatres Announce PHA as Producers for Snow White

Posted: 26 May 2017 - by Stephen Sheldrake

Following the success of their previous two collaborations, Cinderella and The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan, Worthing Theatres today announced that Paul Holman Associates will be producing their 2017 pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Pavilion Theatre, from 1st December 2017 to 1st January 2018.

In 2015 Cinderella broke the record for highest pantomime sales at Worthing Theatres, with a production that recieved rave reviews and starred Strictly Come Dancing’s Camilla Dallerup, Dancing on Ice’s Matt Evers and boyband A1’s Mark Read.

The record was then smashed the following year as The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan became the highest selling and largest attended pantomime in the theatre’s history, having sold over 32,000 tickets in its 5 and a half week run. Among the cast was Richard McCourt, half of the Dick n’ Dom duo who were celebrating 20 years of performing together on television that year. X Factor finalists Amelia Lily and Lloyd Daniels adding strong vocals to the production, and comedian Patrick Monahan captured the audience’s attention as Captain Hook.

Last year Worthing Theatres and PHA held auditions and local children were able to apply for the parts of The Lost Boys, as well as the local Glendale Arts School providing dancers for the production. They also worked in collaberation with Northbrook College to produce a life sized Tinkerbell sculpture and costumes that were on display throughout the run in the Pavilion Cafe Bar, as well as annoucing Chestnut Tree House as their local charity partner, where they raised over £1000 across the run.

Producer Paul Holman says: “We are thrilled to be working with Worthing Theatres again to produce another show stopping family pantomime. Our brilliant reviews, audience feedback and growing box office success from year to year are testament to Worthing Theatres superb creative vision and ongoing commitment to high quality entertainment. With this year’s Snow White we are sure to deliver another sensational production with all the special effects, music, audience participation and comedy that audiences know and love in a great pantomime.”

Casting, audition opportunities and partnerships for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are to be announced over the next few weeks. For booking enquiries call the Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206 206 or click here.
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LISTING INFORMATION
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Date: Friday 1 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018
Times: 10:15am, 2pm, 6pm, 7pm. (2 per day except 3 on Christmas Eve)
Venue: Pavilion Theatre, Marine Parade, Worthing, BN11 3PX
Price: From £12.50 to £24.50
Box office: 01903 206 206 or online at www.worthingtheatres.co.uk
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A Hairy Biker to Star in the Harlequin Theatre’s Peter Pan

Posted: 12 May 2017 - by Christopher Hall

Dave Myers, known to millions as one half of the irresistibly popular TV duo the Hairy Bikers, will lead the cast of this year’s sparkling family pantomime, Peter Pan at the Harlequin Theatre, Redhill from Friday 8th December. With years of entertaining the nation under his belt, the family favourite TV star is prepped to pack the perfect panto punch, as the ultimate panto baddie, Captain Hook!

Much loved for their irresistible enthusiasm, Dave Myers along with best buddy and TV partner in crime, Si King, have become popular fixtures on the small screen and national treasures in the process! Big hearted, down-to-earth cooks with a love of good food, they have been cooking together for more than twenty years.

The dynamic duo have built up an extensive back catalogue including over 24 series across the BBC. The duo recently presented Chicken & Egg on BBC2, where they biked across Europe, the Middle East and America in search of the best chicken and egg recipes the Bikers cooked some of their favourite dishes for BBC1 series Comfort Food.

In addition to their TV work, The Hairy Bikers have written eighteen books to date including Perfect Pies, Big Book of Baking and Great Curries. Back in 2012, the guys shed more than six stone between them on Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight, leading to the launch of online-subscription based weight-loss club: The Hairy Bikers’ Diet Club. They are now excitingly releasing their 5th Hairy Dieters book Go Veggie out later this month.

Flying solo, Dave also fronted his own BBC1 show Operation People Power and became a firm fan favourite among Strictly Come Dancing viewers where he jived, paso dobled and quick stepped his way to week 7 of the popular dance contest. 

Dave Myers said: “Peter Pan is my favourite pantomime title and I have always dreamed of playing the devilishly naughty Captain Hook! It’s a role I can really get my teeth into – I can’t wait to show Redhill audiences what we have in store for them.”

Dave joins a trio of top talent as Redhill pantomime favourites Neil Wheatley, Simon Bashford, and Abigail Welford  are set to return following a record breaking run of Cinderella last year

The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan runs at the Harlequin Theatre, Redhill from Friday 8 December until Sunday 31 December. Tickets available from the box office on 01737 276 500 and online www.harlequintheatre.co.uk/whats-on/pantomime/.

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Lowther Pavilion Announces New Pantomime Producer

Posted: 09 May 2017 - by Christopher Hall

The Lowther Pavilion Lytham St Annes are delighted to announce Paul Holman Associates will be the new producers of this year’s family favourite pantomime Dick Whittington. Initial casting has begun by the London based producers with news that pantomime veterans, father and son comedy duo Simmons and Simmons will play the hilarious pirates Captain and Mate with musical theatre performer Danny Rogers joining the line-up as Idle Jack. Further casting will be announced soon and tickets for the magical production, which runs from Friday 8 December to Saturday 30 December 2017, are on sale now!

Paul Holman Associates has produced over 350 pantomimes, musicals and children’s productions in its 25 year history and is now considered to be one of the UK’s leading producers in family entertainment. The company is highly regarded for its lavish scenery, spectacular storytelling and for its high quality storytelling which blends classic comedy and scripting with cutting edge comedy and choreography from some of the top names in show business.

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said: “I am thrilled to be presenting the annual pantomime at the beautiful Lowther Pavilion and promise a sensational pantomime with contemporary comedy, music and choreography in one of the most traditional and loved pantomime titles

“With father and son comedy duo Keith and Ben Simmons audiences will be wowed by stellar comedy routines and breath-taking showmanship. This season will actually mark Keith’s 48th pantomime appearance, Ben’s 17th and the duo’s 13th consecutive pantomime run together so audiences are guaranteed to be enchanted by their brilliant comedy capers.

“It is also with great pleasure that we welcome the brilliant stage performer Danny Rogers on board. With years of comedy experience  treading the boards among his many credits Danny is sure to pack the perfect pantomime punch as the loveable Idle Jack.

“With a talented line-up, glittering props and scenery and some superb music and choreography lined-up we are set to deliver a sensational pantomime which truly has something for everyone.”

Dick Whittington will be striding into the Lowther Pavilion this Christmas for a pantomime adventure paved in gold, packed with comedy capers and polished off with all the winning ingredients audiences know and love in pantomime.

Alongside our handsome hero is a host of colourful characters waiting to entertain and enthral you all!

Sarah the Cook will be dishing out huge helpings of comedy aided and abetted by the loveable Idle Jack, who will both join Dick, Tommy the Cat and the Captain on the good ship Saucy Sal as they set sail to discover unfound treasures.

Shipwrecked in Morocco, Dick and Tommy the Cat will need to come to the rescue of the Sultan but with a dastardly King Rat ducking, diving and conniving, it will take all of Tommy’s prowess to rid the country of rats.

Will Dick then make it back to London and become Lord Mayor? Will he find true love in the arms of Alice? Maybe with a little sprinkling of magic and sparkle from Fairy Bow Bells our pantomime adventure will have the happy ever after ending it deserves!

Tickets are available now from the box office (01253 794 221) and online (www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk).              

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Strictly Come Dancing Star Takes to the Stage

Posted: 26 Apr 2017 - by Christopher Hall

The Bridlington Spa is delighted to announce star of the stage, professional dancer and Strictly favourite Robin Windsor will headline this year’s pantomime performing the role of Genie in their 2017 pantomime, Aladdin.

Showman Robin took his first steps on to the dance floor at the age of 3 when his parents enrolled him in a local dance school in Ipswich. From the very beginning, he studied both Ballroom and Latin dance, eventually competing at international level representing England where he amassed numerous World Championships titles.

Robin first stepped into the limelight in 2010, making his Strictly debut with celebrity partner Patsy Kensit where over 9 weeks the duo danced their way into the nation’s living rooms winning praise and applause from the judges and viewing public alike. Following the hit season, 2011 became a standout Strictly year for Robin, where he matched his first year success, lasting again till week 9 in the competition with EastEnders legend Anita Dobson and going on to win the Strictly Children in Need Special with presenter Susannah Reid.

With the coveted gliterball trophy firmly in his grasp, Robin was to have his most successful Strictly season yet with actress Lisa Riley. The duo became the standout stars of the series and the people’s favourites with many memorable moments and energetic performances including Lisa whisking Robin into her arms and up into the air, a routine which took the pair to the top of the judges’ scoreboard. The couple’s brilliant technicality and on stage charisma earned them a well-deserved place in the semi-finals. On a high from a sensational season with Lisa, Robin returned to the Strictly stage the following year with celeb entrepreneur Deborah Meaden. The pair proved popular with the judges achieving consistently high scores and ultimately lasting for a very respectable five weeks in the smash hit contest.

Away from our TV screens, from 2003-2010, Robin was part of the cast of Burn the Floor, one of the leading ballroom based shows in the world. Two tours with Burn the Floor (2003, 2004) and three with FloorPlay (2006 to 2008) took him several times around the world, leading up to the highlights being a stint on Broadway and in the London West End. Robin has also starred alongside his Professional Partner and Strictly co-star Kristina Rhianoff across the globe. Together the pair toured their sell out hit show Putting on the Ritz across the UK and put their best foot forward on the global media circuit, including a memorable performance on the South African version of Strictly.

Robin Winsor said: “I am unbelievably excited to be playing Genie in Aladdin. He’s known for his magic, his flamboyant costumes and his larger than life personality so I can’t wait to get going and make my mark with this great character! With years of Strictly under my belt I’m used to OTT and revealing costumes and giving big energetic performances - I can’t wait to show Bridlington what I’ve got!”

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

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Lav and Lou 'clean up' at the Great British Pantomime Awards

Posted: 15 Mar 2017 - by Rachel

Well, Lav and Lou just could not be bothered to collect their award for Best Sisters at the Great British Pantomime Awards, so Oliver Gray and Dean Horner went to collect it instead!

Starring as the Ugly Sisters in our production of Cinderella at Derby Arena, Oliver and Dean won Best Sisters 2016 – 2017 at the star-studded award show last night, hosted by Christopher Biggins. The awards were set up in order to celebrate the dramatic world of panto, which is not acknowledged as widely as it should be, according the to the event organisers. Judges were bought in from all over the country to view as many productions as humanly possible, and then the judging process really started. Numerous nominations were made for each of the 19 categories, of which 4 were then shortlisted.

Oliver and Dean gave a fantastic performance in all 46 shows, and we would like to congratulate them hugely on winning!

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Peter Pan breaks pantomime records at Worthing Theatres!

Posted: 17 Jan 2017 - by Stephen Sheldrake

The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan at the Pavilion Theatre became the highest selling and largest attended pantomime in the history of Worthing Theatres, during the production’s run from December 2 2016 to January 8 2017.

The production, a collaboration between Worthing Theatres and producers Paul Holman Associates, generated record breaking figures by selling 32,300 tickets across its 5 ½ week run.

The cast included household name Richard McCourt, half of the Dick and Dom duo who last year celebrated 20 years of performing together. Also in the cast were X Factor finalists and stage stars Amelia Lily and Lloyd Daniels, with comedian Patrick Monahan capturing audience’s attention with his performance of Captain Hook.

The pantomime provided an opportunity for local talent to be seen on stage as the characters John Darling, Michael Darling and The Lost Boys were performed by children based in Sussex who had auditioned for the parts, with 18 boys being selected. Also on stage were 24 girls from Worthing based Glendale Theatre Dance School. Worthing Theatres also collaborated with students from Northbrook College to produce a life sized sculpture of Tinkerbell, as well as two costumes inspired by the show which were displayed at the Pavilion Café Bar.

Awareness and funds were raised for Worthing based charity Chestnut Tree House, a local children’s hospice that provides care for young adults with progressive life-shortening conditions in East and West Sussex. Ticket sales for the production contributed to Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity as the pantomime adaptation is based on the original story by J.M. Barrie.

Executive Member for Customer Services, Councillor Dr Heather Mercer said “Starting the year with news of Peter Pan’s huge commercial success, is cause for great celebration. Not only was it an excellent production, my personal highlight was witnessing our talented local young actors and the Glendale Theatre Dance students truly flourish on stage, as well as seeing the beautiful design work by Northbrook College students with their life-size Tinkerbell sculpture and the stunning costumes that were on display. With Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs booking fast already we can look forward to another stellar pantomime this year.”

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said “We are thrilled that Peter Pan has broken all records, to become Worthing’s best and fastest selling pantomime to date. This year’s production had broad appeal, combining modern staging, special effects and choreography with all the traditional characters, humour and slapstick everyone knows and loves in a great panto. It’s thanks to a brilliant cast and crew and the superb creative vision and work of Worthing Theatres and it has been wonderful to delight audiences of all ages.”

Worthing Theatres’ next pantomime will be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which will run from 1 to 31 December 2017. For early-bird booking and more information click here.

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JEZ RETURNS FOR A ‘GIANT’ OF A PANTOMIME AFTER SMASH-HIT RUN

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 - by Christopher

The Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds, has announced its headline comic for 2017’s pantomime, the family favourite spectacular, Jack and the Beanstalk. Kids’ TV star and all round funny man Jez Edwards is the first star to be cast (with more stars to be announced) for the popular city centre venue’s annual pantomime. 

Fresh from a hit panto season in Cinderella at The Carriageworks which broke box office records to become the highest selling and most attended pantomime in the history of the theatre, Jez is thrilled to be returning to his ‘home from home’ The Carriageworks Theatre and is once again delighted to be performing in the heart of Leeds.

Jez said: “It is fantastic to be back for a ninth year! The creative vision of the team here means the show just keeps going from strength to strength every year. The energy and warmth of our audiences in Leeds are second to none. I can’t wait to show you what madness and mayhem we have in store for you this year’.

Before he starred on the stage, Jez started his showbiz career at CITV, where he presented the live shows Sticky and Mashed, and was the game show host on the mind-twitching Crazy Cottage. Having made the move over to the Beeb, he presented over 200 editions of the live magazine show, Xchange. Jez fronted the CBBC / Tate Modern Movie Project at the Lord Mayor’s Festival, sharing responsibilities with Hacker and Dodge (Dogs from CBBC), and a BAFTA and CBBC joint venture, Me and My Movie. He also spent two years presenting Channel 5’s entertainment show Exclusive as well as reporting on life’s more colourful characters for BBC’s Record Breakers; fronting BBC Manchester’s Inside Out; and reporting for Football Focus and Holiday.

Pantomime producer Paul Holman for Paul Holman Associates said “With Jez once again taking charge of the comedy and with superb advance booking sales for Jack and the Beanstalk we are confident that 2017 will be our biggest and best pantomime season yet at the Carriageworks’.

Jez will star in Leeds’ only traditional pantomime at the Carriageworks Theatre from 1 December 2017 to 6 January 2018. Tickets are available from The Carriageworks Theatre box office (0113 224 3801) and online (www.carriageworkstheatre.org.uk).

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Oh yes it has - panto season comes to an end!

Posted: 09 Jan 2017 - by Rachel

Well, now that our last two shows have finished, the 2016 - 17 panto season is now over for PHA. With 11 productions running from 2nd December to 8th January, it has been a long run this year! 

From Bridlington to Worthing, we have had a wonderful time at all of our theatres, and have even seen some records broken!

Each and every one of our shows has been fantastic this year, but this would not have been possible without many people, including all of the cast, stage managers, companies, backstage crew, and the theatres themselves, including the theatre managers, front of house staff and marketing staff!

Whilst we may have only just left Pantoland, we'll be back again soon with preparations for the 2017 - 18 season, so keep an eye out for any announcements for the coming year!

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