From Fun Home to Waitress, from Next to Normal to Finding Neverland - it's always fun collating the various rumours flying around theatreland. After a very busy...
Cinderella at the London Palladium - initial casting
Initial casting has been announced for Cinderella, the popular pantomime that will return to the iconic London Palladium as a new production for a limited Christmas season from 9 December to 15 January 2017.
The cast will include Paul O’Grady (The Wicked Stepmother), Julian Clary (Dandini), Lee Mead (Prince Charming), Paul Zerdin (Buttons), Nigel Havers as (Lord Chamberlain) and Count Arthur Strong (Baron Hardup).
Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, the production will be the first pantomime in the venue for more than three decades. It will be directed by Qdos Entertainment’s managing director Michael Harrison, and the Olivier nominated choreographer Andrew Wright.
"With an all-star cast this lavish and spectacular production features sumptuous costumes, magnificent scenery and the unmissable and magical breathtaking moment when Cinderella swaps her rags for a stunning Ball gown and is transported to The Prince’s Ball."
The London Palladium was once synonymous with annual pantomimes from 1948-1987, with the last production 'Babes in the Wood' starring Dame Barbara Windsor and Cannon & Ball. The venue attracted stars such as Julie Andrews, Sir Cliff Richard, Cilla Black and Ronnie Corbett, and this 2016 production is expected to also feature an all-star cast.
Paul O’Grady is best known as the host of 'The Paul O’Grady Show' and for performing as drag act 'Lily Savage'. He has also presented ITV shows 'For Love of Dogs' and 'Paul O'Grady's Animal Orphans'. His West End theatre credits include a musical version of 'Prisoner in Cell Block H' at the Queen's Theatre.
Comedian Julian Clary has been a television regualar since the eighties and has presented game shows such as 'Trick or Treat' and 'Sticky Moments with Julian Clary'. His most recent television series was 'Nature Nuts with Julian Clary', a nature show on ITV. Julian also makes regular appearances on the panel of Radio 4’s long-running 'Just a Minute'. He is currently on tour with 'The Joy of Mincing', his new one man show.
Lee Mead won the BBC series ‘Any Dream Will Do’, a competition to find a 'Joseph' for the 2007 West End production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'. He has since enjoyed a successful run of West End shows and has been part of BBC's 'Casualty' cast. At the start of this year Lee joined a new touring production of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', playing the role of Caractacus Potts.
Paul Zerdin is a ventriloquist and is best known for winning the 2015 season of 'America’s Got Talent'. He has appeared on 'The Royal Variety Performance' three times and was most recently seen on Michael McIntyre’s 'Big Christmas Show' on BBC1.
Actor Nigel Havers has been a television and stage favourite for many years and has also enjoyed roles in films such as 'Chariots of Fire', 'Passage to India' and 'Empire of The Sun. Recent television credits include 'Coronation Street', 'Downton Abbey' and 'Benidorm'. Nigel's most recently appeared in the West End at the Harold Pinter in 'The Importance of Being Earnest', from June to September 2014.
Count Arthur Strong is a comedy character performed by Steve Delaney. The 'Count Arthur Strong' BBC television sitcom has now been running for two seasons and the third will be hitting our screens later this year.
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