THE FAIRY GODMOTHER OF ALL PANTOMIME CASTS!
A GALAXY OF STAR NAMES ANNOUNCED FOR CINDERELLA AT BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
Birmingham Hippodrome has proudly announced that Beverley Knight (in her pantomime debut), Danny Mac, Matt Slack, Suzanne Shaw, The Grumbleweeds, Ceri Dupree and Phil Randall will star in this year’s production of Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes!
Revealing this year’s casting, Producer and Director Michael Harrison said: “This year’s fantastic line-up will ensure another smash-hit pantomime for Birmingham Hippodrome in 2017/18. With so many stars across the worlds of music, theatre, dance and comedy I’m delighted we’ve assembled such a stellar cast for Birmingham’s ultimate pantomime. Once again there’ll be plenty of laughs, surprises and audience participation to look forward to, so audiences should book their tickets to the ball today.”
Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome said: ‘We are hugely excited to play host to Beverley Knight in her pantomime debut this festive season. Pantomime is incredibly important to us at Birmingham Hippodrome and we’re extremely proud of our longstanding relationship with Qdos, who continue to entertain and delight audiences from across the region year on year with their unique mixture of storytelling, lavish special effects and hilarious comedy. This year’s line-up promises something for everyone, and with the clock already ticking, it’s never too early to start planning in some Christmas fun.’
Soul diva and Midlands-born Beverley Knight will take up her first pantomime role as The Fairy Godmother. The much-loved recording artist, radio presenter and musical theatre actress has been a mainstay of the UK music industry for over 20 years having released eight studio albums and stormed worldwide charts with hits including Get Up!, Shoulda Woulda Coulda, Gold and Come as You Are.
Joining her in the role of Prince Charming is celebrated Strictly Come Dancing finalist Danny Mac. Last year Danny appeared as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing coupled with Oti Mabuse. The pair reached the finals wowing viewers and panel, and Danny remains the highest ranking male contestant in the show’s long history. Danny recently starred as Gabey in On the Town in the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park.
Returning for his fifth consecutive pantomime appearance, Birmingham’s favourite funny man Matt Slack plays Buttons after winning rave reviews and legions of fans following last year’s performance as Idle Jack in Dick Whittington. Matt will ensure Cinderella goes to the Royal Ball in a performance that will feature his trademark physical comedy, off-the-cuff jokes and hilarious local references.
In the title role of Cinderella will be pop and television star Suzanne Shaw, who rose to fame via the popular ITV talent search Popstars and the record-breaking music group Hear’Say. She has appeared in various leading stage roles and pantomimes, and starred as Eve Jenson in ITV’s Emmerdale. In 2008 she won the third series of ITV’s popular skating show Dancing on Ice and participated in the All Stars series in 2014.
Robin Colvill and James Brandon, better known as The Grumbleweeds, will appear as The Broker’s Men. Regulars on the UK comedy scene since the 1960s across radio, television, theatre, cabaret and pantomime the ‘guv’nors’ of live comedy will bring their inimitable style of family entertainment, musical comedy and laugh-out-loud routines to the production.
Completing the line-up will be Ceri Dupree and Phil Randall as the Ugly Sisters. For the first time Ceri and Phil will come together as the ultimate Ugly Sister pairing, bringing a wealth of panto experience and sensational costumes having impersonated the world’s biggest divas and entertaining thousands of theatregoers every Christmas.
Once again this year’s pantomime will be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, with Michael Harrison as Producer and Director for the eighth consecutive year. Having recently brought his hugely successful productions of Funny Girl and The Bodyguard to Birmingham Hippodrome.
Audiences shall go to the ball this Christmas as Cinderella transforms from rags to riches, outwits her very Ugly Sisters, and with the help of her hilarious friend Buttons and one very magical Fairy Godmother, wins the heart of the dashing Prince Charming. Cinderella will feature all of the ingredients of the perfect Hippodrome pantomime: a fabulous cast and orchestra, laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to enjoy.
The clock is ticking…book your tickets to the Ball today!
Laura Smith (Head of Communications)
Tel: 0121 689 303069
Kate Evans (Communications Executive)
Tel: 0121 689 3065
Thurs 6 July 2017
Notes To Editors:
- Beverley Knight cont...The celebrated soul songstress has toured the UK regularly, appeared with Take That and headlined her own tours eight times and received numerous accolades for her music and charitable advocacy including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Urban Music Awards. Beverley supported the late Prince at London’s O2, performed at his request for his Oscars party and received an MBE from HM The Queen in recognition of her charitable and musical body of work. In 2013 Beverley made her professional acting debut in the leading role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre for Cinderella’s Producer and Director Michael Harrison, a role which cemented her reputation as a singer and quickly forged a new status as a leading stage actress. After winning rave reviews from audiences and critics Beverley went on to create the leading role of Felicia in Memphis and Grizabella in Cats before reprising her role in The Bodyguard at London’s Dominion Theatre which broke Box Office attendance records and starred in the production for a limited run at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto.
- Danny Mac cont. Danny made his professional stage debut at the age of ten playing Gavroche in Les Misérables for Cameron Mackintosh and, having graduated from Arts Education School, appeared in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, London, where he understudied and played the role of Boq. Danny will also star as Joe Gillis in the UK tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard which comes to Birmingham Hippodrome later this year.
- Suzanne Shaw cont. Hearsay’s debut single Pure and Simple was the fastest-selling non-charitable record ever to reach number one, with sell-out tours and a record-breaking album which followed. Suzanne went on to establish herself as an actress with leading stage roles in Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, Summer Holiday, White Christmas, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
- Birmingham Hippodromeis an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity welcoming an average 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK. Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange are resident partners; the theatre presents all of Welsh National Opera’s repertoire, co-produces the award-winning International Dance Festival and welcomes the best in international dance, major touring dramas, and West End musicals. Home to the world’s biggest Pantomime it also houses the 200-seat Patrick Centre, with extensive events facilities, and its own restaurant.
- As a charity with no public revenue funding, Birmingham Hippodrome receives generous support from the business community through sponsorship and other partnerships; from individuals through donations and memberships; and from grant-making Trusts for special programming and infrastructure projects. It is a major employer and plays a leading role in the Southside Business Improvement District.
- Through Hippodrome CREATIVE we deliver successful projects in education and the wider community. With numerous supportive partners we have recently co-produced and produced new events including Minimum Monument, The Voyage, Summer in Southside, About Town, Blitz, the 4 Squares Weekender and Birmingham Weekender (celebrating the opening of New Street and Grand Central alongside the Rugby World Cup).
- Recent Hippodrome CREATIVE projects include B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival, a three day celebration of all things Hip-Hop produced in partnership with Break Mission, Graffitiartist.com, Juice Aleem and Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere, our Summer in Southside festival and X-Ray: The Unknown Quantity – an innovative new digital dance film and sonic soundscape marking the 120th anniversary of the first medical X-Ray.