It’s Christmas season and everyone loves a good panto don’t they? Oh no they don’t! I hear you cry! There are some fantastic celebrity additions to pantomimes this year and here are my top three to look out for.
3) Colin Baker in Aladdin – Doctor Who has taken over the BBC in recent months and as we all look forward to the Christmas Day special, you can also celebrate the regeneration with a panto. Sixth Doctor Colin Baker is in Aladdin at the Anvil Theatre in Basingstoke
2) Craig Revel Horwood as a Wicked Queen – The acid tongued Strictly judge is starring in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea, for a second year running. It’s bound to be a deliciously evil performance.
1) Jo Brand as a Genie – The deadpan comedian is making her panto debut this year as a dry-humoured Genie in Aladdin. You can catch her at the New Wimbledon Theatre this festive season.
Cumberbatch confirms Hamlet
Fans of Benedict Cumberbatch will be delighted with the news that he’s finally been confirmed to play the part of Hamlet next year telling USA Today “…I know for certain I’m doing Hamlet sometime in autumn on the London stage…”
This will be his first stage performance since early 2011 when he starred opposite Johnny Miller in Danny Boyle’s fantastic version of Frankenstein – a performance that won him both Olivier and Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Lyndsey Turner is rumoured as being the play’s director and, with further casting to be announced, it’s bound to be a hot ticket next year.
The sad passing of Peter O’Toole
The legendary actor of stage and screen Peter O’Toole has died at the age of 81 after a long illness. The actor best known for his amazing performance in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia brought so much to the world of theatre too.
After attending Rada he became a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic. He found fame in 1962 after David Lean cast him as soldier T.E. Lawrence and he also landed the starring role in Hamlet in the National Theatre’s first ever performance of the Shakespearian classic. He remained a stage actor until 1999, starring in Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell. On Saturday night tributes poured in after news of his death was made public, with Stephen Fry describing him as a “monster, scholar, lover of life, genius”. Peter O’Toole will be missed yet his legacy lives on through his powerful performances.