Latest news / 3 February, 2017
Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, has released audience figures that have seen the company welcome over 1.6 million theatregoers to the 2016/17 pantomime season, a new attendance record for company now in its 35th year of producing pantomime.
Across 24 venues in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 2016/17 saw Qdos Entertainment regulars continue to star, including Julian Clary, Brian Conley, David Hasselhoff, Joe Pasquale, Lesley Joseph, Paul Zerdin, Craig Revel Horwood, Shane Richie, Jessie Wallace, Lisa Riley, Duncan James, Gok Wan and Simon Webb joined by newcomers including Paul O’Grady, Amanda Holden, Count Arthur Strong, Natasha J Barnes, Jaymi Hensley and Pauline Quirke.
Over 80 headliners, 400 cast members, 100 musicians and 500 crew members helped make magic, which included five 3D sequences, numerous special effects courtesy of The Twins FX, which included flying carpets, a life-size Tyrannosaurs Rex, giants, flying helicopters, cars, motorbikes and a magical coach and horses which flew around the auditorium of the London Palladium twice a day. Across the season over 27,000 pyros were fired, ensuring every show was full of sparkle.
The season also saw the company bring pantomime back to the London Palladium for the first time in nearly 30 years in a spectacular production of Cinderella, which broke records when it achieved the highest weekly grossing sales figure in West End theatre history. The production alone involved over 700 costumes, designed, created and maintained by over 40 members of staff, including 20 speciality costumes, with over 400 pairs of shoes, and over 25,000 hours spent in their design, creation and maintenance.
2017 will see further expansion for the company, seeing its portfolio of partner venues increase to 35. Qdos will now stage pantomime in nine ATG venues, in addition to its own nine theatres operating under the management of its’ sister company HQ Theatres and 17 at independent venues across the country, including Darlington Hippodrome and Hull New Theatre when they re-open later this year. The company have also confirmed that they will return to the London Palladium in 2017 and 2018, with tickets for this year’s pantomime Dick Whittington already on sale.
The 2016/17 pantomime season also saw Qdos Entertainment stage 18 Relaxed Performances, the highest number of specially modified performances staged to date in one season and an additional 50 access performances. Theatre Royal Newcastle’s production of Cinderella was seen on hundreds of hospital wards around the country courtesy of a partnership with bedside entertainment provider Hospedia.
Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomimes division said: “The real success of the Qdos Entertainment season is the number of creative collaborators brought together to stage top-drawer productions which are both contemporary and true to the traditions of pantomime. Everything we’ve achieved this Christmas is a shared success of literally thousands of people from across the creative industries working together with a common purpose. It’s our privilege at Qdos Entertainment to ignite the passion and enthusiasm of so many professionals.”
Qdos Entertainment’s founder and Chairman Nick Thomas added: “We’re delighted to have had yet another bumper season, not only in the numbers achieved at the Box Office, but the sheer number of audience members we’ve welcomed to our pantomimes. It’s been a successful season all round, with audience figures up, new venues we’ve worked with and the achievement of bringing pantomime back to the London Palladium. The year ahead looks just as exciting for Qdos as we expand into new towns and cities and work with new partner venues and bring the magic of our shows to an even wider audience in the years to come”.