Paul O’Grady in Cinderella at the London Palladium
Once upon a time audiences were used to seeing big pantomimes staged at the London Palladium and this tradition returns in 2016 as Cinderella makes its way there for a Christmas run. But the big news today concerns the show’s casting and in true panto tradition some big names have been recruited to take on some of the iconic roles.
So audiences can look forward to seeing Paul O’Grady portray the Wicked Stepmother of the show, with Julian Clary as Danini, Nigel Havers as Lord Chamberlain and Lee Mead as Prince Charming. The cast also includes Paul Zerdin and Count Arthur Strong.
It is the second Christmas show to be revealed in recent days, with The Very Hungry Caterpillar recently announced for younger audiences at the Ambassadors Theatre. It shows that despite the warmer weather arriving, West End producers are already thinking of the winter seasons and are ready to entice us with some promising productions.
Cinderella is a story we are all familiar with, of course, as we follow the down-on-her-luck young woman who must cater to the whims of her wicked stepmother and step siblings. But with the help of a fairy god mother she is able to transform herself and attend the ball of Prince Charming.
Paul O’Grady is a great choice for the Wicked Stepmother, having made a career of playing Lily Savage on stages around the world. These days audiences are more familiar with his daytime chat show The Paul O’Grady Show but his career has also included Paul O’Grady’s Animal Orphans, Holby City and Eyes Down. His previous pantomimes include Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs at the Victoria Palace Theatre and a separate production at the Manchester Opera House, whilst other West End roles include Prisoner In Cell Block H at the Queen’s Theatre and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.
So this Christmas will see the return of a panto tradition to the London Palladium.