Magical was the word used time and again to describe the upcoming panto at Lincoln Theatre Royal this year, writes Holly Tyrrell.
Some of the cast of Cinderella pictured outside Lincoln Theatre Royal
Cinderella will be the fairytale of choice – and a beloved one at that – as the theatre announces that ticket sales are soaring and they’ve had to extend the season by an extra week by popular demand.
Described by theatre CEO and Creative Director Ian Dickens as “the finest top of the bill I’ve ever worked with” Lincoln’s favourite comedy duo Cannon and Ball will be back as the ugly stepsisters in their third panto season!
Local actor Craig Hollingsworth will play the character of Buttons with comedy actress Judy Buxton as the Fairy Godmother and Kate Powell as Dandini.
Also making their return to the Theatre Royal’s panto cast is Nicola Weeks as Prince Charming and The Royal star Michelle Hardwick as Cinderella who both starred in last year’s production of Aladdin.
“I love being the principal boy!” said Nicola. “How often do us girls get to act like boys? Nowadays pantomimes often don’t stick to the tradition of having a girl play the lead male character but I think it just adds to the comedy.
“Cinderella is such a magical story and it’s even more wonderful to be working with Cannon and Ball and Michelle again this year, as well as the new additions. You can’t fake chemistry and as a cast we work fantastically together.
“Ian has done such an incredible job with the theatre and the atmosphere and energy when you play here is just electric. I think that’s shown in the popularity of the show and I’m thrilled for Ian and the theatre for the support it has received.”
Michelle, who will play the leading role, said: “Cinderella is the ultimate panto in my opinion, the most magical, and it feels that way to play the character too. Cinderella goes on such a journey from rags to riches and the audience goes on that journey with her.
“It’s even better at the Theatre Royal because it’s such a intimate setting and the audience gets so involved.
“It’s so important that children today experience live theatre with so many other things like computers and TV out there. Panto is often their first taste of it and it’s a joy to see their reactions. If they’re not shouting at the top of their lungs at the stage you’re not doing your job properly!”
“It’s fantastic to be involved with the Theatre Royal’s panto,” said Craig Hollingsworth. “Normally I’m away from home and working during the Christmas period so this will be even more special because I get to spend the season at home in Lincoln and performing in front of Lincoln audiences.
“Buttons is such a loveable, cheeky chappie. Even though he doesn’t get the girl, I love playing his character. Lincoln can expect a rollercoaster of emotions and big dance numbers and will be swept away by the magic. It’s a fantastic show, and the support it’s had so far is just incredible.”
To book tickets or for more information call 01522 519999 or visit the website at www.lincolntheatreroyal.com.