Theatre Royal Winchester is pleased to announce its cast for its 2023/24 pantomime, Cinderella – with performers from stage, screen, radio and more.
Once again it welcomes back family favourites, Julian Eardley and Ed Thorpe – who first appeared together in the theatre’s 2017 panto, Peter Pan. From there the pair starred side by side in the theatre’s next five pantos. In 2017, Ed – who celebrated his panto debut that year – was nominated for Best Songsheet Performance at the Great British Panto Awards.
This year, Julian – who will have starred in 14 of the theatre’s pantos – will play the magical Fairy Godmother. Traditionally the theatre’s Dame, last year Julian gave a lecture about life as a panto dame to The Art Workers’ Guild in London. Over the years Julian has worked with Vienna’s English Theatre, the English National Opera and BBC Radio 4.
Next, actor musician Ed will play the beloved Buttons. Ed missed last year’s panto as he was in The Commitments (tour). He also starred in a show called Gods and Dogs about a dystopian world, by Rude Mechanical Theatre Company. Ed has starred on stages across the country including with Birmingham Stage Company who regularly tour Horrible Histories.
Joining them as the lead, Cinderella, is Millicent Blair. Millicent was lead vocalist for the Broadway show, Burn the Floor, and understudy and lead singer for Broadway Unplugged (performed on Norwegian cruise ships). She has also played Tinkerbell in Peter Pan (regional tour) and while training she was dance captain and vocal captain.
Millicent’s Prince will be played by Max Mirza who recently made his theatre debut in Roman Holiday (Theatre Royal Bath). While training he performed at the London Palladium and the Royal Albert Hall and in A Chorus Line and Sweeney Todd at ArtsEd performing arts school in London – whose award-winning alumni now star in the Westend, on the BBC and Netflix.
Cinderella’s traditionally vulgar stepsisters will be played by Laura Dalgleish and Alison Fitzjohn. Laura’s stage credits also include Horrible Histories (Birmingham Stage Company), plus Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest (Storyhouse, Chester). She has also been on TV and radio and completed voiceover work, including for Torchwood.
While Alison’s extensive credits include Dixon and Daughters (National Theatre) and the Olivier-award nominated Billionaire Boy and Gangsta Granny, George’s Marvellous Medicine and Horrible Histories (all for Birmingham Stage Company, across the Westend and as part of international and UK tours). Alison has also starred in film and TV.
The Baroness will be played by actor musician Georgina Field who, like Ed, has worked with the Rude Mechanical Theatre Company (including in Gods and Dogs). She has also performed in a great many adaptations, including of The Great Gatsby, Godspell, The Comedy of Errors, Abigail’s Party and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Finally, actor, writer and comedian Thom Tuck will play Dandini. Thom recently starred in The Play What I Wrote (Theatre Royal Bath, BBC4). He has also been in The Crown (Netflix), Fresh Meat (Channel 4) and Horrible Histories (CBBC). An Edinburgh Fringe nominee, his work has been on BBC radio, and he’s in sketch troupe, The Penny Dreadfuls.
The full cast will be accompanied by a support cast who this year are Noah Collingwood, Elizabeth Davis, Josiah Ellison, Hannah Exworth, Holly Gardner-Hall, Georgina Jarratt, Eva McManus, Milly Paulley, Mazey Rogers, Amy Smith, Amy Thomas and Anna Yeadon.
Cinderella is the rags to riches story of a servant girl whose Fairy Godmother transforms her into a beautiful princess to go to the ball to meet the handsome Prince. But when the clock strikes 12 she must run away before the magic fades, thus leaving the Prince to search his kingdom for her – with only the help of her slipper!
Theatre Royal Winchester’s annual pantomime is suitable for families and is filled with corny jokes, original songs, live music and audience participation.
It is produced by Play to the Crowd, the arts and education charity that runs Theatre Royal Winchester, Hat Fair and Playmakers, and comes from the same creative team behind previous years’ pantomimes including Beauty and the Beast, Dick Whittington and last season’s record-breaking Wizard of Oz – the Great British Pantomime Award-nominated pairing of writer, director and lyricist James Barry, with music by Simon Slater.
There will be a number of accessible performances of Cinderella including relaxed, audio-described and BSL-interpreted; a touch tour; plus, the ability to livestream at home – so everyone can enjoy the show in an environment right for them.
This year’s pantomime is supported by Play to the Crowd’s Corporate Partner, regional law firm, Paris Smith.
Cinderella will be at Theatre Royal Winchester from Thursday 30 November to Monday 01 January 2024 at various times. For more information or to book tickets visit theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk or call 01962 840 440.