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Where can I see a panto this Christmas?


DAMES in big skirts and wigs, handsome princes, wicked stepmothers, stepsisters, witches and queens, fairy godmothers, lamps and dwarves – oh yes it is – panto time.

And there is such a choice in and around our area that there is sure to be a tale to suit all - and a star for everyone. Here is your 2014 panto guide...

The Harlequin Theatre, Redhill

What: Beauty and the Beast

Starring: Best known for her role as Heather Trott in EastEnders, Cheryl Fergison brings a diva style performance to the role of bumbling, absent-minded Witch Guillotine. She headlines a cast featuring Redhill panto favourites – Neil Wheatley as village funny-man Hugo Le Gaff, Simon Bashford as Madame Cherie Trifle and Abigail Welford as leading lady Belle. Graeme Kinniburgh makes his Redhill debut as the Prince and Beast.

When: December 12 – January 4

Tickets: 01737 276500, www.harlequintheatre.co.uk

Dorking Halls

What: Jack and the Beanstalk

Starring: Dorking Halls has secured three names from TV for its tale of the boy who sold the family cow for a handful of magic beans. Lisa Gormley, who plays Bianca Scott in Home and Away is damsel Jill, Rikki Chamberlain, Samson from CITV's Captain Mack, is Simple Simon and Maurice Thorogood, known for playing Adrian Chiltern in ITV's Heartbeat, plays the menacing Fleshcreep. Taking the lead role of our hero Jack is actor Will Pearce known for his role as Ritchie Valens in The Buddy Holly Story and back by popular demand is Chris Casserly as Dame Trott.

When: December 20 – 28

Tickets: 01306 881717 www.dorkinghalls.co.uk

The Leatherhead Theatre

What: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Starring: Impressionist, comedian and ITV`s Britain's Got Talent finalist Drew Cameron is Muddles in this tale of the princess who eats the poisoned apple. Joining Drew on stage will be Katherine Mansi as the Wicked Queen, Joseph Gale as the Handsome Prince and Mollie Tucker as Snow White.

When: December 24 – January 3

Tickets: 01372 365141, www.theleatherheadtheatre.org

Epsom Playhouse

What: The Wizard of Oz

Starring: Children's entertainer Dave Benson Phillips, who brought his own show to the theatre a few years ago, plays Dorothy's travelling companion, the Scarecrow. Dorothy will be played by Samantha Giffard, The Tin Man by Phil Amato, The Lion by Jamie Bannerman, Good Witch by Hannah Woolley, Bad Witch by Emily Barnett-Salter and The Wizard by Iain Wotherspoon.

When: December 13 – January 4

Tickets: 01372 742555/742227, www.epsomplayhouse.co.uk

The Hawth, Crawley

What: Sleeping Beauty

Starring: TV presenter Stephen Mulhern starred in Cinderella at The Hawth last year – now he is back again, this year as Jangles in Sleeping Beauty. Best known for Britain's Got More Talent, Catchphrase and regular appearances on Good Morning Britain, Stephen is appearing alongside CBeebies favourite Cat Sandion, impressionist Hilary O'Neil and 2010 Eurovision entrant Josh James. Watch out for the fire-breathing dragon.

When: December 12 – January 4

Tickets: 01293 553636, www.hawth.co.uk

Chequer Mead, East Grinstead

What: Aladdin

Starring: The stars of East Grinstead amateur group Company of Friends are back at Chequer Mead again this Christmas. Playing the Dame is Kevin Gauntlett, who is known among Company of Friends audiences for his slapstick chef role in Old Time Music Hall, while in a more serious capacity he is the group's chairman. Taking the title role is Abbie Lomax, who audiences might recognise as having previously played Aladdin's love interest Yasmin and taking the lead role of Cinderella.

When: December 20 – 30

Tickets: 01342 302000, www.chequermead.org.uk

Fairfield Halls, Croydon

What: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Starring: Pop Idol finalist and West End star Gareth Gates leads a cast as Prince Charming. Popular dame Quinn Patrick returns for the fourth year running and is joined by Witney White playing the title role of Snow White, Siani Owen as the wicked Queen Morgiana, and award-winning entertainer Jack Glanville as Muddles.

When: December 5 – January 4

Tickets: 020 8688 9291, www.fairfield.co.uk

New Wimbledon Theatre

What: Cinderella

Starring: New Wimbledon Theatre always lands itself some good names for its panto and with several gracing its bill this year it's worth a trip out. This year Dallas star Linda Gray makes her panto debut when she plays the role of the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Linda will be joined by king of one-liners and puns Tim Vine, Matthew Kelly and his son Matthew Rixon as the two Ugly Sisters and Wayne Sleep as Dandini.

When: December 5 – January 11

Tickets: 0844 871 7646 www.atgtickets.com

Churchill Theatre Bromley

What: Sleeping Beauty

Starring: Coronation Street's Marc Baylis aka killer Rob Donavan goes from soap murderer to Prince when he plays the leading man in Sleeping Beauty. Joining Marc as the Good Fairy is 80's pop icon Sonia, legend of radio, screen and stage Bobby Crush as Nurse Nelly, Pop Idol contestant, West End actress and Big Brother housemate Zoe Birkett as Bad Fairy Carabosse and CiTV and Nickelodeon star Jamie Rickers who is playing Silly Billy. Musical theatre star Sophia Thierens is Sleeping Beauty.

When: Now until January 4

Tickets: 0844 871 7620, www.atgtickets.com/bromley

Where can I see a panto this Christmas?

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