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It’s panto time! And it promises to be a hit at the Forum

The cast of Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID
The cast of Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

A star-studded pantomime looks set to be another hit - oh yes it is!

Favourites from Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and X Factor will play some of the leading roles in Cinderella at the Forum Theatre, Billingham.

Ugly sisters Rob (left) and Darren Harper (right) with the Wicked Stepmother (Paul Burnham) In Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Ugly sisters Rob (left) and Darren Harper (right) with the Wicked Stepmother (Paul Burnham) In Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Watch out for a familiar cast as the show features many of the same performers as last year’s sellout hit.

And watch out too, for this year’s dame - Baroness Hardup played by Paul Burnham - who has travelled from his home on the Costa del Sol in Spain to play the part.

Ticket sales are already on course to match last year’s record-breaking levels of 35,500 people through the doors.

And the Forum panto is so popular, staff have already started selling ticket’s for next year’s performance of Peter Pan.

I love panto because you get three-year-olds to 93-year-olds and they all get the humour

Liz Cooper

For now, though, audiences can look forward to this year’s production which features East Boldon’s Lola Saunders - back for her second panto and playing the starring role of Cinderella.

Ben-Ryan Davies (from Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road), is Prince Charming while Kurtis Stacey (from Emmerdale) plays Dandini.

The Harper Brothers star as the Ugly Sisters and Victoria Holtom from Hartlepool, plays the Fairy Godmother.

Barnaby is back as Buttons and Dain Cordean is Baron Hardup.

Marketing manager Liz Cooper said: “Last year, we got 35,500 people through the doors and played to around 94 percent audiences for the five and a half weeks.

“This year is following trend. We extended the season last year and because of the popularity, we have continued it.”

Bookings have come in from as far as Ireland and London and Liz added: “There are spaces available but people need to have a couple of dates mind when they contact us.”

She said she loved the pantomime because it brought together everyone from three-year-olds to 93-year-olds “and it is always good clean fun.”

Cinderella starts at the Forum Theatre in Billingham on Saturday, December 2, and continues until Sunday, January 7.

To book and for more information, contact the box office on (01642) 552663 or visit the theatre’s website at www.forumtheatrebillingham.co.uk.