Latest news / 17 September, 2018
Hull New Theatre has announced that EastEnders icon Anita Dobson, comedy star Bernie Clifton, Hull-born West End star Jocasta Almgill, and long-time Hull resident, Comedian Martyn James, will star in this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Cinderella from Thursday 6 December. The casting replaces the previously announced Chuckle Brothers.
Playing the role of Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother will be multi-award winning stage, television, film actress and singer Anita Dobson. The graduate of London’s Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, Anita rose to fame as the inimitable Angie Watts, the first Landlady of the Queen Vic on EastEnders. Her tempestuous nature saw her quickly rise to fame, with over 30 million viewers tuning in to see her handed her divorce papers by her on-screen husband on Christmas Day 1986, an unprecedented record which is still yet to be surpassed.
Upon leaving the infamous Square, Anita went on to appear across film and television with roles on Red Dwarf, Rab C Nesbitt and her own sitcom, Split Ends, for the BBC and other serialised dramas including The Bill, Doctor Who, Casualty and Holby City. She also took part in the 2011 series of Strictly Come Dancing, scoring high with judges and the voting audience, reaching the ninth week of the competition.
On stage Anita was nominated for her role as Gertrude in Hamlet at the Lawrence Olivier Awards, appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Most recently Anita played Madame Morrible in the musical Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, appeared in the feature films Darkness Falls and London Road for the National Theatre, and guest starred in the 2017 Christmas special of Call the Midwife.
Starring alongside Anita as her financially-challenged husband Baron Hardup will be comedy legend Bernie Clifton. A staple of television throughout his illustrious and lengthy career, Bernie has appeared on stages up and down the country with his incomparable stand up and music, not to mention his trusty ostrich friend, Oswald.
The Lancashire born legend began his career playing local pubs and clubs before the lure of television called, and he made his screen debut on the iconic children’s show, Crackerjack. In addition to causing havoc on screen for three years, Bernie appeared on numerous Royal Variety Performances, on Blankety Blank, appeared with French and Saunders, had a cameo in Peter Kay’s iconic ‘Is This the Way to Amarillo’ video for Comic Relief, auditioned for the ITV talent search The Voice, wowing the Kaiser Chief’s Ricky Wilson with his vocal talents and earlier this year he flew to Las Vegas with a host of fellow celebrities to appear in their own Sin City stage spectacular, Last Laugh in Vegas.
Joining them as the fabulous Fairy Godmother will be west end leading lady Jocasta Almgill. Most recently starring in the UK tour of the hit Scottish feature film Sunshine on Leith, Jocasta was seen in multi-award winning musical Dreamgirls, appeared in the leading role of Deena Jones on numerous occasions at the Savoy Theatre in London and starred in In the Heights, the hit-musical penned by Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda
Starring as Cinderella’s best friend Buttons will be comedian Martyn James. Martyn has been involved in show business for more than 25 years, originating as a children’s entertainer in the North of England before forging a highly successful career as an entertainment manager, producing, directing and staging numerous productions before touring his own magic show at venues across the UK. Along the way he picked up numerous awards, including the British Magical Champion of Illusion and British Magical Grand Prix Awards along the way. Since then Martin has wowed crowds with his unique comedy and magical act, and will be bringing plenty of miraculous tricks to help Cinderella travel to the Ball.
Audiences shall go to the ball this Christmas as Cinderella transforms from rags to riches, outwits her Wicked Stepmother and very Ugly Sisters, and with the help of her hilarious friend Buttons, father Baron Hardup and one very magical Fairy Godmother, wins the heart of the dashing Prince Charming. Cinderella will feature all of the ingredients of the perfect Hull 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. This year’s panto will also feature an exciting, eye-popping 3D sequence and real Shetland ponies who will transport Cinderella to the Ball.
Don’t miss your chance to see Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes. The clock is ticking…book your tickets to the Ball today!