Jonny Awsum, the Croydon comic who made it to the semi-finals of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent this year, has landed a leading role in the pantomime, Jack and The Beanstalk, which is being staged at the Waddon Leisure Centre in December.
Awsum will play Jack’s hapless and unlucky-in-love brother, Billy Trott, alongside a co-star who the producers describe as “much-loved by television audiences”, Paisley Billings. Billings, who will play the Fairy, has previously appeared on an E4 programme called Tattoo Fixers.
Awsum impressed audiences and judges on BGT with his feel-good brand of musical comedy. He has now recorded his first album (available on iTunes) and is heading to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer with his brand new show, Honey, I Promised the Kid.
“I’m delighted to be joining the cast of Jack and The Beanstalk. As a dad of two young children, it’s also really special to be involved with keeping the much-loved family tradition of pantomime alive in my home town of Croydon this Christmas.”
The Waddon Leisure Centre is staging the Croydon panto for a second year while the Fairfield Halls – the usual venue for seasonal knockabout entertainment – undergoes its £30million refurbishment. Apparently, the Town Hall was already booked for pantomime of its own sort.
Billings trained as a professional dancer from the age of 7, and made her West End debut when she was 11. She’s done a lot of telly lately, including Celebs Go Dating, Big Brother’s Bit On The Side and 8 Out Of 10 Cats. This will be her first pantomime role. “I can’t wait to bring some sass and style to the stage of Waddon Theatre this December,” she said.
Waddon Leisure Centre will be converted into a 400-seat theatre space throughout December. Last year’s panto drew in 14,000 people.
The producers Q Productions say, “Packed full of side-splitting comedy, stunning special effects and lavish costumes, Jack and The Beanstalk will be a fully produced professional pantomime, with a cast of West End performers and local young talent.
“Open auditions will be held later in the year for young performers from the local community to join the juvenile ensemble, providing a fantastic opportunity to work alongside professional dancers and performers.”
Jack and the Beanstalk runs from Dec 7 to 31 (times vary, check website). Tickets, priced from £12.50 – £18.50, are now on sale from the website: www.thecroydonpanto.com.
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