They shall go to the ball... Newbury Corn Exchange announces Cinderella panto cast
The Corn Exchange has just announced the cast for this year's pantomime Cinderella, which runs from November 26 until January 2.
Writers Plested and Brown say: ‘We have a confession... Cinderella is our favourite panto; let’s face it, the godfather (or Fairy Godmother) of all pantomimes! This year we have gathered a magical cast for you that bring comedy, toe tapping songs and plenty of improv surprises! Come join the panto gang... the clock is ticking and there’s a magical Christmas party to get to!’
Chloe Gentles, who has recently appeared in the UK and international tour of Mamma Mia! and who has previously performed in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical and the UK tour of Avenue Q, will play the title role of Cinderella.
From last year's Aladdin comes William Beckerleg, whose credits include the national tours of Madagascar and Summer Holiday. He will play Prince Charming.
Also returning is Susan Harrison. She delighted audiences as Aladdin’s faithful canine sidekick Wishee Washee and is back to give audiences plenty of opportunities to boo and hiss as she plays one of the Step-Sisters. Susan is a regular performer with Showstopper! The Improvised Musical and has appeared in Mischief Movie Night and Peter Pan Goes Wrong. She will partner with another member of the Showstopper team, Ali James, who has appeared in the UK tour of Tell Me on a Sunday and as Cathy in the Buxton Opera House production of The Last 5 Years.
Everyone loves a Dame and Justin Brett joins the company as Henrietta Hardup, having previously played Johnny Cash in the West End production of Million Dollar Quartet and regularly performs with Showstopper! The Improvised Musical.
Jade Johnson, who has previously performed in Book of Mormon, will be spreading a little magic as the Fairy and Billy Roberts, who has appeared in the UK tour of Nativity the Musical, will play Prince Charming’s trusty servant.
Completing the cast are Jordan Benjamin, who has just finished performing in the London production of Hairspray, and Rachel Breeze, who performed in Ben Forster’s The Best of the West End earlier this year.
Cinderella is written and directed by comedy writing team Plested and Brown (Clare Plested, Adam Brown and Amanda Wilsher). They have had Newbury audiences in stitches for the past two years with their fresh takes on the traditional pantomime stories Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin. 2020’s Aladdin was created to work within Covid regulations and, although a move into Tier 4 for Berkshire meant it had to close early, a filmed version meant audiences could still enjoy the pantomime over the festive period, albeit from their living rooms.
Joining Plested and Brown in the creative team are Dai Watts as musical supervisor, Jordan Paul Clarke as musical director and Holly Hughes as choreographer.
Corn Exchange director Katy Griffiths says: "Pantomime is such a magical time of year for everyone at the Corn Exchange. Plested & Brown have really pulled out all the stops this year, and with an incredible cast to match, I know that visitors of all ages are going to have a ball(!) with us at Cinderella this year.’
Cinderella will be sold at full capacity but there will be one socially distanced performance each week. www.cornexchangenew.com