Pantomimes in Kent in 2018

by Angela Cole

Get ready to hiss, boo, cheer and whoop!

It's panto season and curtains are going going up on shows across the county.

We've rounded up the pantomimes you will find at theatres in Kent this Christmas:

Ben Roddy and Lloyd Hollett are back in this year's Marlowe Theatre pantomime
Ben Roddy and Lloyd Hollett are back in this year's Marlowe Theatre pantomime

Cinderella, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Friday, November 23 to Sunday, January 6

The cast of the record breaking Marlowe Theatre pantomime - which was seen by more than 100,000 people last year - this year features Kent's own Phil “Mister Maker” Gallagher and former Coronation Street and Loose Women star Sally Lindsay, alongside Canterbury favourites, Ben Roddy and Lloyd Hollett.

Gravesend-based Harry Reid, best known for playing Ben Mitchell in EastEnders, joins the cast as Dandini with Cara Dudgeon as Cinderella, Oliver Walton as Prince Charming and Patrick Clancy as Baron Hardup. The show marks the 10th consecutive year panto producers Evolution Productions have brought audiences the Christmas extravaganza in Canterbury.

Tickets, from £14.75, are available by calling 01227 787787 or visiting marlowetheatre.com.

Aladdin, Winter Gardens, Margate

From Wednesday, November 28 to Sunday, December 2

Margate Operatic Society spectacular panto will be a musical extravaganza with plenty of songs you'll know, where the hero, street urchin Aladdin, is in love with the princess Jasmine who’s overbearing Mother, the Empress of China, wishes her to marry a rich young man. Aladdin vows to leave behind the laundry where he lives with his mum, Widow Twanky, and hapless brother, Wishee Washee.

For tickets go to margatewintergardens.co.uk or call 08442 439 480.

Maidstone Panto will be at The Friars, Aylesford
Maidstone Panto will be at The Friars, Aylesford

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Maidstone Panto, Aylesford

Friday, November 30 to New Year's Eve

Among the stars headlining the cast at the show in The Friars, Aylesford, are Ben James-Ellis from BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do, and Francine Lewis, who shot to fame doing impressions on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. Bosses behind the panto, which last year was held at Maidstone Studios, have invested heavily in even more special effects in order to produce "the wow factor".

As well as the shows, there will be a winter village with free entry and parking, where visitors can enjoy an ice rink, classic fairground rides and food and drink stalls.

Tickets from £20 are available from maidstonepanto.com

Dick Whittington starring Danny Beard
Dick Whittington starring Danny Beard

Dick Whittington, Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks

Friday, November 30 to Sunday, January 6

This year the Stag Theatre marks the 10th anniversary of professional pantomime in Sevenoaks. More than 20,000 people watch the pantomime each year, and after last year's record breaking production of Snow White, Britain’s Got Talent star Danny Beard returns to play the Spirit of London. Kent children’s entertainer, Ant ’Silly Billy’ Payne, also returns along with Sevenoaks’ favourite baddie, Jasette Amos.

The show also features a live gospel choir that includes a cast of singers, used to sharing a stage with artists from Stevie Wonder and Ed Sheeran, to Nicole Sherzinger and Demi Lovato. There will also be a five piece live band.

For tickets from £15 visit sevenoakspanto.com

Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Cinderella, Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Saturday, December 1 to Sunday, December 30

Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph will be flying in as the Fairy Godmother for this Christmas's panto, produced by Qdos Entertainment, the team behind last year’s record breaking production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Jessie Wallace. Lesley will be joined by Charlotte Haines (Cinderella), James Darch (Prince Charming) and Phil Reid (Buttons), with laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery and special effects - plus plenty of boos and hisses.

For tickets from £18, call 020 8290 8210 or visit churchilltheatre.co.uk

The cast of Aladdin at the Hazlitt Theatre
The cast of Aladdin at the Hazlitt Theatre

Aladdin, Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone

Saturday, December 1 to New Year's Eve

Actor and comedian Richard Blackwood, who played Vincent Hubbard in EastEnders, will play The Genie in Aladdin, while the title role will be played by Alessandro Lubrano and Elizabeth Bright as Princess Jasmine, after playing Cinderella last year. They will be joined by Kivan Dene as Abanazar, Erina Lewis as Slave of the Ring, and of course not forgetting Widow Twankey - brought to life by Tim Hudson.

To book tickets, call 01622 758611 or go to parkwoodtheatres.co.uk

The cast of the EM Forster panto
The cast of the EM Forster panto

Jack and the Beanstalk, EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge

Saturday, December 15 to Sunday, January 6, 2019

Wicked Productions - the same company behind last year's popular production Aladdin - will mark their third year at the theatre with this production. With more performances than previous years, the show promises a family treat with stunning scenery, music, choreography, magic and fun, plus a show-stopping giant, beanstalk and special effects. There will be bucket collections for ellenor and Chasing Connor’s Cure.

For tickets to the show at £15.50, visit emftheatre.com or call 01732 304241.

JJ will be starring as Peter Pan
JJ will be starring as Peter Pan

Peter Pan, The Woodville, Gravesend

Friday, December 7 to New Year's Day

The auditorium will be hooked for the adventure being put on by Wicked Productions, who are regulars at the venue at Easter and are doing the venue's panto for the first time. Jamie Paul 'JJ' Hamblett, from boy band Union J will play Peter Pan, with firm favourite Robert Pearce returning as pirate dame Mrs Smee and Rob Cummings as Captain Hook.

For tickets from £14 go to woodville.co.uk or call 08442 439 480.

Sleeping Beauty at The Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells
Sleeping Beauty at The Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

Sleeping Beauty, Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells

Friday, December 7 to Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Benidorm and Brookside star Claire Sweeney and Channel 5's Milkshake star Derek Moran are among the cast in the show, which promises flying fairies, a fire-breathing dragon and some CGI animation. Produced by UK Productions in association with Assembly Hall Theatre and directed by John-Jackson Almond, the show sees Claire, who appeared in panto at the Central Theatre, Chatham last year, as the wicked fairy godmother Carabosse. Quinn Patrick returns for a second year to Tunbridge Wells as Nurse Nelly, after playing Widow Twankey last year.

To book tickets, priced at £24, call 01892 530613 or visit assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

Ray Quinn will be playing Dick Whittington at the Central Theatre, Chatham
Ray Quinn will be playing Dick Whittington at the Central Theatre, Chatham

Dick Whittington and his Cat, Central Theatre, Chatham

Friday, December 7 to Monday, December 31

Ray Quinn, who reached The X-Factor factor in 2006 and went on to star in Brookside, will play the title role. Ray, who has had a career in musicals recently including Grease, Legally Blonde and Summer Holiday leads the cast as Dick sets off to seek his fortune on the streets of London and across the seas to Morocco. Will he defeat the evil King Rat and his gang of vile vermin? Will Alice Fitzwarren lose her heart to this handsome hunk? Will the street of London be paved with gold? And will Sarah the Cook suffer another soggy bottom?

The classic pantomime, which also stars Joe Tracini as Idle Jack, will feature dazzling dance routines and swashbuckling adventure.

For tickets go to medwayticketslive.co.uk or call 01634 338338.

Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet will star in Aladdin
Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet will star in Aladdin

Aladdin, Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Saturday, December 8 to Sunday, December 30

BRIT and Ivor Novello award-winning artist Marti Pellow, former frontman of Wet Wet Wet and star of Evita and Blood Brothers, leads the cast as the evil sorcerer Abanazar. The show will be produced by Qdos Entertainment, with audience participation, music and dancing and jaw-dropping special effects. With a wish-granting genie, the timeless tale of the Twankey family will have panto lovers hopping on the flying carpet.

Tickets from £18 are available from orchardtheatre.co.uk or call 01322 220000.

Dick Whittington, Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

Tuesday, December 11 to Sunday, December 30

This year’s pantomime will be a treat for all the family, packed with special effects, costumes and amazing sets, comes from CTProductions.

To book tickets go to atgtickets.com/shows

Swallows Leisure Centre pantomime cast
Swallows Leisure Centre pantomime cast

Jack and the Beanstalk, Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne

Friday, December 14 to Christmas Eve

Coronation Street favourite Steven Arnold, who played Ashley Peacock for 14 years, leads the cast for this year's panto. The star of Dancing on Ice in 2011 will play the giant’s evil henchman Fleshcreep in the Sittingbourne panto, with Katie Burke, returning after playing Belle in Beauty and the Beast last Christmas. For the third year in a row, resident dame Tilly Trott will be played by Harry Moore, with Tom Balmont as Jack and Olivia McLaughlin as Fairy Beansprout. The cast will be joined by youngsters from the Kent School of Dance.

To book tickets from £8.50, call 01795 420420 or visit trio-entertainment.co.uk/sittingbourne-panto


Alice in Wonderland, The Heath Players

Thursday, December 6 to Saturday, December 8

The Heath Players stage their annual pantomime, this year by Tom Whalley - Alice in Wonderland - will be staged at the East Malling Institute Hall. Tickets at £8 for adults and £5 for children.

To book tickets call 07505 059605 or email tickets@theheathplayers.com

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