Latest news / 27 September, 2019
New Wimbledon Theatre have announced this year’s all-star line-up for their forthcoming, enchanting family pantomime, Cinderella, which will see Samantha Womack, Lesley Garrett, Melody Thornton and Pete Firman entertain thousands of festive theatregoers from Saturday 7 December.
Leading the cast in the role of The Wicked Stepmother will be actress and singer Samantha Womack. Best-known for her role in EastEnders as the late Ronnie Mitchell, whose chilling on-screen departure was seen by over nine million television viewers she has appeared on numerous television dramas and comedies including Game On, Home Again and The Grimleys. She has also featured in films including Up’n’Under and Lighthouse Hill establishing herself as one of the country’s most prolific actresses.
Her stage work includes the role of Sandy in Grease at the Dominion Theatre, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls opposite Patrick Swayze, Nellie Forbush in the West End and UK tour of South Pacific and Morticia Addams in the critically-acclaimed UK tour of The Addams Family. Most recently Samantha has starred as Rachel Watson in the critically acclaimed stage adaption of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel The Girl on the Train which is currently on a second UK tour following a successful season at the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End.
Joining her as The Fairy Godmother, and making her pantomime debut, will be award-winning soprano, musician, broadcaster and actress Lesley Garrett. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and the prestigious National Opera Studio, Lesley has performed in principal roles across the globe in various operas, appearing at the London Coliseum, Glyndebourne, with Opera North and as a principal soprano for English National Opera which saw her rise to fame. In 2006 she starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s revival of The Sound of Music at the London Palladium and joined the UK tour of Carousel before bringing it to the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End. In 2002 she was appointed a CBE for her services to music.
In addition to her stage work, Lesley was a contestant on the first series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, was a judge on Comic Relief does Fame Academy, had two series of her own and recorded various special concerts for the BBC, hosted and sang at the Classical BRIT Awards at the Royal Albert Hall and was a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women. As a solo recording artist Lesley has released fourteen albums, many of which received gold and silver status, and as a featured soloist on award-winning recordings including The Magic Flute, Così fan tutte and The Mikado.
Starring in the title role of Cinderella will be American singer-songwriter, dancer and television personality Melody Thornton. Having risen to global stardom as the youngest member of the successful pop group The Pussycat Dolls, Melody held a prominent vocal role in the group and can be heard on the band’s most successful hits. Melody and her fellow Dolls achieved worldwide success, with their music winning numerous awards, and released the Grammy Award nominated albums PCD and Doll Domination, which featured the hit singles Don’t Cha, Buttons, When I Grow Up and Jai Ho!. In her solo career Melody has collaborated with hit artists such as Cee Lo Green, Lil Wayne and LL Cool J.
In addition to her music, Melody featured on The Pussycat Dolls Show, Dancing With the Stars, and it’s UK counterpart Strictly Come Dancing, Dance Moms, the World Music Awards, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and Popstar to Operastar. Earlier this year Melody swapped her signature heels for skates and was a contestant on ITV’s hit show Dancing on Ice, where she finished in in fifth place.
They will be joined by comedian, magician and television regular Pete Firman as Buttons. Pete’s television appearances include The Generation Game, The Next Great Magician, Tonight at the London Palladium, Let’s Sing & Dance for Comic Relief, Tommy Cooper Forever and the BBC’s primetime Saturday night series The Magicians. His BBC Radio 4 documentary, Pete Firman’s World of Magic, aired to critical acclaim and led to further television appearances alongside John Bishop, Sarah Millican and Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live.
His live performances have taken him all over the world and his one-man shows have entertained sell-out audiences for 10 years in a row at the Edinburgh Fringe and on several UK tours. He’s been invited to perform at Montreal’s prestigious Just For Laughs festival, Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle and London’s home of mystery, The Magic Circle. His other UK theatre productions include Champions of Magic, The All-Star Stand Up Tour and Sandi Toksvig’s Christmas Cracker. Cinderella marks Pete’s third foray into the world of pantomime for producers Qdos Entertainment, and his return to New Wimbledon Theatre having won rave reviews for his role as Wishee Washee opposite Paul Merton in last year’s successful production of Aladdin.
Cinderella will be once again be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer continuing their partnership with New Wimbledon Theatre for a third year, following the previous productions of Aladdin and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomime division said: “I’m thrilled that we have managed to secure Samantha, Lesley, Melody and Pete to lead our Wimbledon pantomime this year. Between them all we have fantastic vocalists, stunning dancers and hilarious comedy that audiences of all ages will love in a production packed full of audience participation, laughter and pure panto magic.”
New Wimbledon Theatre Director Nick Parr said: “Once again New Wimbledon Theatre will be the place to be for the best festive entertainment this year. The theatre team can’t wait to welcome Samantha, Lesley and Melody to their first Wimbledon panto and the return of the hilarious Pete Firman for a second year, will ensure a magical treat for the whole family!.”
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!