Nothing says Christmas like a trip to the panto so why not treat your family to a star-studded show where they can laugh at jokes, sing along to pop hits and take part in action songs?
Derbyshire is awash with festive spectaculars, ranging from Peter Pan at Derby Arena to Jack and the Beanstalk at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre to Cinderella at Buxton Opera House.
Former Coronation Street and Emmerdale actor Bill Ward will be rocking the seas of the Derby Arena stage as the evil Captain Hook. Bill is no stranger to playing the villain, after appearing on screen in two of the country’s top soaps; the sadistic, evil character of Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street and in more than 700 episodes as James Barton in Emmerdale. Bill’s other television credits include Silent Witness, True Crime, Casulaty and Midsomer Murders.
The role of Tinker Bell will be performed by Katrina Bryan, well known for her work on the CBeebies channel. Beginning in 2007, she played Nina in the award winning series Nina and the Neurons and currently plays the role of Alice in hit show, Molly and Mack.
Derby-born Morgan Brind is back in the arena panto as the Dame for a third year running.
Peter Pan runs at Derby Arena from December 7 to January 4.
Lee Latchford-Evans from pop supergroup Steps heads the cast in Jack and the Beanstalk in Chesterfield. He joined Steps in 1997 and helped the group rack up record sales in excess of 20 million. Away from the band, experienced actor Lee has starred in musicals in London’s West End, playing Teen Angel in Grease, Niko Nikovsky in Eurobeat and touring with the stage version of All Creatures Great and Small. Lee’s feature films include Cash & Curry, The Rizen, DeadRinger and, most recently, horror comedy Paintball Massacre. He has also starred in numerous pantomimes.
Children’s TV star Andrea Valls makes her pantomime debut in Chesterfield playing the Princess. Children will recognise her as Mum Jess from CBeebies show Waffle The Wonder Dog.
Jack and the Beanstalk is running at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre from December 6 to January 5.
Over at Buxton, James Holmes from the TV show Miranda returns for his fifth year in panto in the town. He’ll be playing one of Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters, treading the boards alongside Jamie Barwood.
Shannon Flynn (pictured left) from Waterloo Road and CBBC’s Dani’s Castle and Shout Out Saturday plays Cinderella in the fun-filled family show.
Families can catch Cinderella at Buxton Opera House from December 12 to January 1.
To buy tickets for Peter Pan at Derby Arena, go to www.derbyarena.co.uk, for Jack and the Beanstalk at Chesterfield Pomegranate Theatre, go to www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk; for Cinderella at Buxton Opera House, go to www.buxtonoperahouse.co.uk