The first details have today been revealed of the York Theatre Royal’s new panto – which is going to be ‘massive and extraordinary’.
That’s according to Tom Bird, chief executive of the theatre, who revealed all about Cinderella on YorkMix Radio this morning.
Tom told Ben Fry on the Breakfast Show: “We think it’s going to be extraordinary. It’s going to be massive, big scale. We know that’s what people want.
“The script’s fabulous. We’re just so excited about the show.”
And there’s a big star who your children are going to love!
“We’re over the moon that Andy Day is joining us to pay Dandini,” Tom said. “Andy’s a massive star on CBeebies, it’s a real coup to get him to York.
“Families will know him from Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures on the telly. We’re so excited to have him.”
After the final curtain was brought down on the long-running pantomimes starring Berwick Kaler at the Theatre Royal, Tom wanted something different.
He described Cinderella as “that’s tailor-made for the whole family, while honouring the pantomime traditions that our audiences love so much”.
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Other stars this year include:
Faye Campbell (Cinderella) who played The Hero in Jack and the Beanstalk and Dick Whittington in York Theatre Royal’s Travelling Pantomime last December.
Robin Simpson (Sister) who was Dame Trott in the Travelling Pantomime, after playing dame for three years at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. His fellow sister is Paul Hawkyard.
Max Fulham (Buttons), a comedian and ventriloquist, has played leading comedy roles in pantomimes throughout the UK, being voted Best Speciality Act in the British Pantomime Awards.
The cast is completed by Benjamin Lafayette (Prince Charming) and Sarah Leatherbarrow (Fairy Godmother).
“We’re over the moon that Faye Campbell is coming to play Cinderella,” Tom said.
“Faye was in the Travelling Pantomime. She was the star of that show last year in that difficult winter and we really wanted to get her back – she has got an incredible voice.”
Written by Paul Hendy and directed by Juliet Forster, Cinderella will run at York Theatre Royal from 3 December to 2 January.
It is being staged by Evolution Productions – and tickets are on sale now at the theatre website or via 01904 623568.
“Book early to get the best seats at the best prices,” said Tom.
Evolution Productions was started by Emily Wood and Paul Hendy in 2005. It has built a reputation for superior, bespoke pantomimes with the emphasis on high quality production values, strong casting and genuinely funny scripts.
They have twice won Pantomime of the Year at the Great British Pantomime Awards. They are the team behind Sheffield Theatres’ extraordinarily successful pantomime in the Lyceum Theatre.
Producer and writer Paul Hendy says: “Emily and I are absolutely thrilled to be working with York Theatre Royal on Cinderella.
“We are huge fans of the theatre and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Tom and his brilliant team to produce a wonderful, family friendly pantomime with spectacular production values, a superbly talented cast, and a genuinely funny script.”