Dec 11 2011 by Michael Green, Chester Chronicle
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (New Vic Theatre, Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, November 19-January 21)
A MAGICAL new production of the classic Lewis Carroll story from the team that created Peter Pan last year. Join Alice as she journeys through a strange and enchanted world. Meet the White Rabbit, take tea with the Mad Hatter, search for the Cheshire Cat and hide from a very bad-tempered Queen. Call 01782 717962 or visit www.newvictheatre.org.uk.
ALADDIN (Venue Cymru, Llandudno, December 10-31)
PANTOMIME at Venue Cymru in Llandudno will enter another dimension this year as international television personality Jason Gardiner from Dancing On Ice makes his pantomime debut, as the evil Abanazar. Joining Jason on stage will be panto funny man John Evans as he heads back to Llandudno for his fifth year as the loveable Wishee Washee. Call 01492 872000 or visit www.venuecymru.co.uk.
ALADDIN (Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Wirral, December 10-January 2)
FAMILIAR faces are all set to line up for the panto season in Wirral. Kelsey-Beth Crossley, who is best known as Scarlett Nicholls in ITV’s Emmerdale, plays the title role alongside Andrew Agnew from Balamory as Wishee Washee and Brookside veteran Dean Sullivan as Abanazar. The show will have lavish scenery, spectacular dance routines as well as laughs for all the family headed up by a cast that will appeal to every generation. Call 0151 666 0000 or visit www.floralpavilion.com.
CINDERELLA (Opera House, Quay Street, Manchester, December 3-31)
LOUIE Spence, star of Sky TV’s Pineapple Dance Studios and Louie Spence’s Showbusiness, will play the Prince’s aide-de-camp Dandini while singer and actress Suzanne Shaw will take the title role of Cinderella. The most magical fairy tale of them all provides everything audiences will expect from a traditional pantomime – stunning sets, lavish costumes, amazing song and dance numbers, romance, bags of audiences participation. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
CINDERELLA: MOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE (Playhouse Theatre, Williamson Square, Liverpool, December 3-January 21)
GET your spandex, glitter and party pants on – the Everyman and Playhouse in Liverpool has announced the legendary rock ’n’ roll panto will shake, rattle and roll at the Playhouse. The boys are back in town too as audience favourites Adam Keast and Francis Tucker pair up again to bring their unique double-act to thrill and soak the crowd in equal measure. call 0151 709 4776 or visit www.everymanplayhouse.com.
CINDERELLA (The Brindley, Runcorn, December 9-January 8)
BROOKSIDE stars Sarah White and Philip Oliver team up for The Brindley’s panto this season. Philip is Buttons and Sarah The Wicked Stepmother in this classic show full of the fun and games you would expect from panto. Call 0151 907 8360 or visit www.thebrindley.org.uk.
DIRTY DANCING (Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester, November 22-January 7)
AN UNPRECEDENTED live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensationally sexy dancing. Don’t miss your chance to see this truly spectacular musical theatre event based on the hit movie starring Patrick Swayze. Ring 0844 372 7272 or visit www.manchesterpalace.org.uk.
GOOD MOURNING MRS BROWN (Empire Theatre in Lime Street, Liverpool, December 12-17)
FOLLOWING the success of TV comedy series Mrs Brown’s Boys on BBC One, Brendan O’Carroll returns to the Liverpool stage. This is the second of the Mrs Brown Trilogy of plays (although there’s actually five) and is written by and stars Brendan O’Carroll as Mrs Agnes Brown. Call 0844 847 2525 or visit www.liverpoolempire.org.uk.
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (Forum Studio Theatre, Hamitlon Place, Chester, December 10-30)
CHESTER'S number one traditional family pantomime is back as Tip Top Productions stage their most lavish panto yet with a multitude of silly jokes, custard pies, great song and dance routines, a comedy cow and not to mention Dame Trott displaying outrageous frock after frock and maybe even some audience participation as our hero Jack encounters the evil Fleshcreep and attempts to free the lovely Jill from the Giant's clutches! Visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.
RED RIDING HOOD (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, December 14-31)
A GORGEOUSLY rendered re-telling of the classic girl-and-the-wolf tale. The story that everyone knows...or do they? In an abridged re-telling of the children's classic, Horse+Bamboo present an enchanting version of the timeless girl-meets-wolf tale. Exquisite visuals blend with pantomime-style silliness and spooky moments to create an enchanting piece of theatre for all ages over four. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.
SCROOGE (The Lowry, Salford Quays, December 12-January 7)
FAMILY favourite Tommy Steele will be taking up residence this Christmas in Bill Kenwright’s record-breaking production of the famous festive musical by Lionel Bart. No holiday season would be complete without Ebenezer, Bob Cratchit, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, and of course Tiny Tim. This heartwarming family story has stunning sets and costumes, specially created illusions by magician Paul Kieve and a fantastic musical score which features the Oscar nominated hit Thank You Very Much. Call 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com.
SLEEPING BEAUTY - THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PANTO (Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, November 25-January 28)
THE talented team of director Peter Rowe and designer Judith Croft, who created hit pantos Aladdin and Robin Hood & The Babes in the Wood - are back with the perfect festive show. The classic fairytale is sprinkled with the magic of memorable pop and soul hits, played live by an amazing cast of actor/musicians including everyone’s favourite dame Phylip Harries. Call 0845 330 3565 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl, December 9-January 7)
FEW people in the world haven’t heard the tale of the charming young princess who is nearly killed by her evil stepmother – the Wicked Queen, but is helped by a group of seven lovable characters. This year’s pantomime stars Tupele Dorgu, best known for her role as Kelly Crabtree in Coronation Street , as the Wicked Queen, Channel 5’s Milkshake presenter Amy Thompson as Snow White and, back by popular demand, the hilarious Andy Jones star of our 2010 pantomime Peter Pan as Muddles. Call 01745 330000 or visit www.rhylpavilion.co.uk.
UNCLE ERIC’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (New Vic Theatre, Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, December 1-16)
ONCE again Uncle Eric shows his total lack of acting talent as he murders Charles Dickens’ brilliant ghost story A Christmas Carol. This may not be conventional Dickens but it does have lots of great 60s hits. Call 01782 717962 or visit www.newvictheatre.org.uk.
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS (The Lowry, Salford Quays, December 2-January 14)
THE tales of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Mr Toad have been delighting readers and audiences for generations. Alan Bennett’s stage version of Kenneth Grahame’s classic novel - presented by the Library Theatre Company - is true to the original but written with his distinctive flair and humour, featuring clever songs and witty dialogue. Visit www.librarytheatre.com or call 0843 208 6005.
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU (Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, December 7-January 14)
JOIN a joyful, mad and eccentric celebration of family this Christmas in our revival of the 1930s Broadway hit. The bohemian Vanderhofs firmly believe anything goes so long as it makes you happy, while the conventional Kirbys believe in the pursuit of money and the American Dream. But when granddaughter Alice falls in love with the Kirby's banker son, mayhem ensues as values and philosophy collide head-on. This is a new collaboration with the internationally acclaimed theatre company Told by an Idiot, whose uniquely inventive physical style will bring this great American comedy vividly to life. Ring 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.