Star casting has been announced for the previously announced return of pantomime to the London Palladium, once the home of traditional Christmas pantomime in the British capital, when it hosts its first panto in nearly three decades with a production of Cinderella, beginning performances December 9 prior to an official opening December 14, for a run through January 15, 2017.
The 32-strong cast will be led by popular television host and stage pantomime regular Paul O’Grady as The Wicked Stepmother, Julian Clary as Dandini, Lee Mead as Prince Charming, Paul Zerdin as Buttons, Nigel Havers as Lord Chamberlain and Count Arthur Strong as Baron Hardup. The casting of the roles of Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother and the Ugly Sisters will be announced soon.
O'Grady is best known nowadays as the host of TV's The Paul O'Grady Show, but as alter ego Lily Savage, he has had a long stage pedigree, first appearing on the London Palladium stage in a double bill with the late Victoria Wood. He has appeared regularly in pantomime, including a previous West End season of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2004.
Clary is a best-selling author, television personality, a regular panelist on Radio 4’s Just a Minute and is currently touring his new one-man show, The Joy of Mincing.
Mead first came to prominence after winning the BBC series Any Dream Will Do to take the role of Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the West End in 2007. He has appeared in many other musicals since, as well as a series of pantomimes.
Zerdin won America’s Got Talent last year and is currently starring in his own residency at the Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas.
Havers is well known for his screen roles in such films as Chariots of Fire, Passage to India, Empire of The Sun, Don’t Wait Up and Man Child. Television credits include Coronation Street, Downton Abbey, The Life of Rock, Stop/Start and Benidorm. Stage credits include Art in the West End and on tour, as well as touring productions of Rebecca, Alan Bennett’s Single Spies and several seasons in pantomime.
Delaney's comedy character Count Arthur Strong has featured in over 50 episodes of Count Arthur Strong’s Radio Show! for BBC Radio 4, and the third series of his eponymous TV sitcom returns to BBC1 this autumn.
Cinderella is produced by Nick Thomas and Michael Harrison for Qdos Entertainment. It is directed by Michael Harrison and co-directed and choreographed by Andrew Wright, with designs by Ian Westbrook and costume designs for Paul O’Grady and Julian Clary by Hugh Durrant. Lighting design is by Ben Cracknell with projections by Duncan Mclean, sound by Gareth Owen, musical supervision and orchestration by Gary Hind, musical direction by Greg Arrowsmith and visual special effects by The Twins FX.
To book tickets, visit CinderellaPalladium.com.