Latest news / 16 November, 2020


Regent Theatre and pantomime producers Qdos Entertainment have today announced that a socially-distanced pantomime will be staged at the venue, with an all-new production of Robinson Crusoe, thanks to support from The National Lottery.

With the much-loved Stoke regulars Jonathan Wilkes and Christian Patterson at its helm, this specially-created show will bring pantomime back to the Potteries and play from Saturday 19 December.

The production is able to go ahead thanks to the support of The National Lottery, which will give thousands of theatregoers, in Stoke and across the country, the chance to enjoy socially distanced pantomime this Christmas. The show is being staged as a result of an initiative between The National Lottery and Qdos Entertainment which is providing financial support for theatres to stage socially distanced, live pantomimes this festive season. This will make it viable for venues, including the Regent, to open their doors to the general public, generating vital income for the theatre and helping to restore jobs while providing much-needed cheer for pantomime lovers.

Baddeley-Green born showman Jonny Wilkes will make his 15th Regent panto appearance as the hero Robinson Crusoe. No stranger to the stage, Jonny has enjoyed a varied stage career including lead roles in Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, Guys and Dolls and Grease, and held hosting duties on You’ve Been Framed and Love on a Saturday Night on television. When not performing Jonny and his wife, Nikki, run their full-time performing arts school the Wilkes Academy in Swindon.

Joining him as his mother, Mrs Crusoe, Christian Patterson stars alongside Jonny for the 11th time in the stage partnership that delights Stoke audiences year after year. Trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Christian has held roles in The Woman in Black, Journey’s End and Matilda, and is currently appearing in My Country; a work in progress at the National Theatre. Most recently Christian was seen in the hit Channel 4 drama, The
Accident, alongside Sarah Lancashire and Joanna Scanlan.

Frazer Hoyle, Theatre Director at The Regent Theatre said: “We are very excited to announce that Stoke will have a Panto this year with all your usual favourites back on stage, thanks to Qdos Entertainment and the amazing support from The National Lottery. Being able to keep this festive family tradition alive after such a difficult year feels very special and the support of The National Lottery will enabled us to bring some fun and happiness to the people of Stoke and it will also support some of our fantastic Regent Theatre team as they return to work on this special show. We look forward to seeing you over the festive period and we hope you enjoy the show!”

This new production will be packed full of comedy routines, audience-safe participation and all the unmissable magic that Regent audiences have come to expect from their annual festive pantomime. The previously advertised production of Cinderella will be staged in 2021 and existing bookers have already
been contacted with details of their new tickets.

The support of The National Lottery will ensure that socially distanced panto can take place this year at the Regent Theatre, and other theatres across the UK. Up to 20,000 free tickets to pantomimes across the country, including in Stoke, will be made available to National Lottery players to thank them for making it possible for this Christmas tradition to go ahead. National Lottery players raise on average £30M each week for Good Causes. This year has seen up to £600M in National Lottery funding being used by charities and organisations affected by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak across the arts, community and charity, heritage, education, environment and sport sectors.