News Column

It's showtime at festive venues... ; Christmas - www.enjoystaffordshire.com [Sentinel, The (Stoke-on-Trent, England)]

September 24, 2013

YellowBrix

Whether you're looking for a pantomime to put you in the festive mood or Christmas show to bring some cheer, look no further than our fabulous theatres...

The Regent Theatre's favourite pantomime star and home-grown talent Jonathan Wilkes will return to Stoke-on-Trent in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in this year's annual Christmas extravaganza. Potteries favourite Jonny is back for the highlight of the Christmas calendar in this year's Regent panto. The Hanley theatre's panto has become the must-see Christmas tradition and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs promises to be no different. The show will once again be packed with brilliant slapstick, hilarious comedy, stunning sets and sensational comedy.

Jonny will be joined once again by another favourite with local audiences - Welsh funnyman Christian Patterson. Christian wowed audiences once again last year after starring as an ugly sister in Cinderella. Jonny said: There is no place I would rather be at Christmas than on the stage at The Regent Theatre and there is nobody I would rather be sharing it with than Christian Patterson. I'm not quite sure who has a better time - us on stage or the audience watching us.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at The Regent Theatre from Tuesday, December 3, to Sunday, December 8, and then again from Tuesday, December 17, to Sunday, January 5. Tickets are now on sale and are available in person from The Regent Theatre box office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting: www.atgtickets.com/stoke.

In Stafford, theatre-goers will be entertained at Christmas with Sleeping Beauty, the classic fairytale told with a rock 'n' roll twist.

At Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, evil witch Morgana will place a cruel curse on King Candlestick Camelot's baby daughter Susie, and he will need all the help he can get! With the help of the fabulous Fairy Fanciful, her assistant Frederica and the King's unlikely district nurse, the outrageous Dame Taffetta Trott, they must foil Morgana's evil plan to make her own son Mordred King.

Prepare to be amazed as a multitalented cast of actor musicians play all the music live on stage.

Sleeping Beauty will be filled with hit numbers including Celebration, Don't Leave Me This Way, Wake Up Little Susie, The Shoop Shoop Song and many more.

The production will run from Friday, December 13, to Saturday, January 11. For tickets, call the box office on 01785 254653 or visit: www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk.

The New Vic Theatre, Staffordshire's award-winning theatre in the round, always puts on a stunning Christmas show. This year the Newcastle-under-Lyme venue will be staging The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Brought to the stage by the brilliant team of directors, designers and composers behind the New Vic's Alice in Wonderland and A Christmas Carol, The Hundred and One Dalmatians will take centre stage from Saturday, November 23, to Saturday, February 1. When Perdita and Pongo's puppies go missing, they set off on a daring rescue mission - helped by all the dogs in England! How is cold- hearted Cruella de Vil involved? Will they be in time to save their pups? Or have they bitten off more than they can chew? Fast-moving and ingeniously staged, this magical family show will be filled with stunning costumes, dance routines and original swing music played live on stage.

Tickets are available by telephoning the New Vic box office on 01782 717962 or online at www.newvictheatre.org.uk.

Those attending the Prince of Wales Theatre, in Cannock, between Saturday, December 21 and Monday, December 30, will be treated to a performance of the pantomime Aladdin. For tickets, call the Prince of Wales Theatre on 01543 578762 or visit: www.wlct.org/cannock/ theatre.

Another pantomime classic, Snow White and the Magic Mirror, will be running at Lichfield Garrick from Friday, December 6, to Sunday, January 5. This year's festive show will have all the magic and spectacle you enjoyed with A Christmas Carol and Alice in Wonderland, with the return of traditional pantomime as Dame - Fraulein Strudel (Ian Adams) welcomes you to Transylvania; the home of Queen Evilene (Joanne Malin).

With spectacular scenery and costumes, amazing effects and a magical musical score this promises to be a sensational Christmas show for the whole family with lots of audience participation, fun and laughter. For tickets, call the Lichfield Garrick box office on 01543 412121 or visit: www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

The Tamworth Pantomime Company return this Christmas with the magical adventure story Dick Whittington. At Tamworth Assembly Rooms, follow our hero as he sets off for fame and fortune with his new friend Cat, meeting some colourful new friends along the line, including the larger than life chef Dame Daphne Dumpling, charming rogue Idle Jack and the fiery heroine Alice Fitzwarren. The Tamworth Pantomime Company have been presenting the annual family show at the Assembly Rooms for many years, and they never fail to disappoint. This year's production sees TCR FM breakfast presenter Alex Farrell as Dame Daphne Dumpling. Popular face Lee Bates returns to play Fairy Bow Bells and, fresh from his acclaimed performance of Simple Simon in last year's production of Sleeping Beauty, Neil Jackson will play the comedy role of Idle Jack. The show will run from Wednesday, December 18, to Sunday, January 5. For tickets, call 01827 709618 or visit: www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk.

At The Victoria Hall, in Hanley, 'Merrily on High: A Christmas with All Woman' will take place on Saturday, December 7. You can join with the 300 strong voices of All Woman as they perform in their seasonal concert. This giant choir with a giant personality present a combination of popular and traditional Christmas melodies with branches from Stoke and Stafford joining forces for this evening of musical entertainment. Following previous sell-out performances, this is a concert not to be missed as those everyday ladies take to the stage for a vocal extravaganza that is All Woman! Also at The Victoria Hall, 'That'll Be the Day Christmas Special' will take place on Thursday, December 19. Get ready for a party as the UK's most successful touring rock 'n' roll production, the legendary That'll Be the Day, returns with a brand new 2013 Christmas show.

For tickets for either show, call The Victoria Hall Box office on 0844 871 7649 or visit: www.atgtickets.com/stoke.

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