Rehearsals are well underway for this year’s Croydon pantomime at the Fairfield Halls, with the curtain going up next Friday at the Ashcroft Theatre on Imagine Theatre’s glittering production of Beauty and The Beast, starring Dick and Dom… though no one’s said which one’s playing Beauty and which one’s The Beast.
TV slebs Dick and Dom – Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood- say they “can’t wait to bring their madcap comedy to this year’s show”.
Starring alongside them at the Ashcroft will be veteran television presenter, actor and “pantomime legend”, Derek Griffiths.
In a career that stretches back more than 50 years, Griffiths has appeared in Play School alongside Johnny Ball and Brian Cant, provided the vice for cartoon superhero SuperTed, has played the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and has appeared as Freddie Smith in Coronation Street.
Griffiths originated the role of Lumiere in the original Disney West End production of Beauty and The Beast. This time he’s back in the pantomime version playing Belle’s father, Professor Potage.
“We are so excited to be back in the theatre,” McCourt said.
“This is also doubly exciting as we will be performing together. So expect double the trouble and double the laughs!”
Referring to Griffiths, he added, “Working alongside a hero of ours will make this an even more magical show.”
And Wood said, “What he said!”
The Croydon panto’s cast includes Danny Whitehead as the Prince and Nic James as Benedict Bourbon, with Elizabeth Ayodele as Fairy Fairfield.
The producers say, “Beauty and The Beast promises to be the festive treat that the whole family can enjoy this Christmas. The pantomime will be staged in the Ashcroft Theatre and will have all of the ingredients that creates the perfect pantomime, a laugh-a-minute script, big song and dance numbers, lots of audience participation and a sprinkling of magic!”
“Drag your parents to see us,” Griffiths said. “They’ll love it!”
The panto is on at the Fairfield Halls from December 10 until January 2, with tickets bookable here: www.fairfield.co.uk
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