Latest news / 30 November, 2016

WEST END STAR DANIELLE HOPE JOINS THE CAST OF BIRMINGHAM’S BIGGEST PANTO

With less than one month to go until the opening of Birmingham’s favourite pantomime, Qdos Entertainment and Birmingham Hippodrome are delighted to announce that West End actress and singer DANIELLE HOPE will join JOHN BARROWMAN, STEVE MCFADDEN, THE KRANKIES, JODIE PRENGER and MATT SLACK in this year’s magical, festive production of Dick Whittington in the role of Alice from Mon 19 Dec 2016 – Sun 29 Jan 2017.

Danielle made her professional debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium, after capturing the hearts of the country and winning the BBC’s smash hit Over The Rainbow having competed against over 9,000 girls. She went on to star as Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables at The Queen’s Theatre - a role to which she most recently returned. Other stage credits include Cathy in The Last Five Years (Greenwich Theatre & Warren Theatre, Brighton), Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (National Tour) and Maria Rainer in The Sound of Music (National Tour).

No stranger to the magical world of panto, Danielle was last seen on the Birmingham Hippodrome stage playing Snow White in the 2013/14 production of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves alongside Gok Wan, Stephanie Beacham, John Partridge, Gary Wilmot, Paul Zerdin and Matt Slack.

Starring alongside Danielle in the title role of Dick Whittington is actor and TV star JOHN BARROWMAN.

The hugely popular showman last appeared at the Hippodrome in the pantomime Robin Hood in 2008/09 and has enjoyed an acclaimed and hugely varied career including music, presenting and writing with performances on television and film, in the West End and on Broadway. His numerous stage credits include leading roles in Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon and Company. He was on the TV judging panel of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber, and hosted his own primetime Saturday night programme for the BBC.

John is perhaps best-known for his iconic role as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who for the BBC, a role that proved so popular he became the leading role in its spin-off series, Torchwood, which made John a household name. He has also released eleven studio albums and two concert DVDs. John is currently starring as Malcolm Merlyn in the acclaimed US television show Arrow, based on the DC Comic crime-fighter Green Arrow which is now in its fifth series.

Soap star STEVE MCFADDEN will be telling a different ‘tail’ this Christmas starring as the evil King Rat, determined to outwit Dick Whittington. The RADA trained actor has appeared in numerous television programmes, including roles in The Bill, Minder and Bergerac, but it is the role of Phil Mitchell in the long-running BBC soap EastEnders for which he is best known. Steve has starred in the iconic role for over 25 years, at the centre of a number of high-profile storylines, and has won a plethora of high-profile awards. No stranger to the world of pantomime, Steve has played practically all the villains in pantoland, but Dick Whittington marks his first time playing its most evil rodent!

Joining them on stage are legendary double act THE KRANKIES playing Councillor and Jimmy Krankie. Having entertained audiences with their slapstick for over 50 years, Dick Whittington reunites the pair with John Barrowman, having starred together in pantomime in their hometown of Glasgow for five years. Ian and Janette Tough, who last year celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary, have been stalwarts on the cabaret circuit and on television since the 1970s, enjoying a varied career including sold-out residencies at major theatres across the UK, appearances at the Royal Variety Performance and their own television programmes The Krankies Klub and The Krankies Elektronik Komic and released two singles, Fan-Dabi-Dozi, based on their much loved catchphrase and Wee Jimmy Krankie.

Adding a touch of West End sparkle to proceedings, actress and singer JODIE PRENGER stars as Fairy Bow Bells. Best-known for winning the coveted role of Nancy in the West End revival of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! through the BBC talent show I’d Do Anything, Jodie rose to fame singing for survival in front of a panel of famous judges, including John Barrowman, and millions of television viewers every Saturday night. After a brief appearance in Les Misérables, Jodie went on to perform the role of Nancy to public and critical acclaim at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, winning the Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.

For a fourth year running Hippodrome favourite MATT SLACK returns to make Birmingham audiences roll in the aisles with his hilarious physical comedy and quick wit in the role of Idle Jack. Matt has delighted audiences year after year winning rave reviews for his hilarious performances. Also returning after last year’s appearance in Aladdin is favourite pantomime dame ANDREW RYAN, who will don even more of his amazing frocks in the role of Sarah the Cook.

Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Dick Whittington will be directed by MICHAEL HARRISON for the fifth year running.

Dick Whittington runs at Birmingham Hippodrome from Monday 19 December 2016 until Sunday 29 January 2017. Tickets from £15.50* can be booked on 0844 338 5000† or from birminghamhippodrome.com.