Today, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre revealed the first casting announcement for the 2017/18 pantomime. Gareth Gates will star as Jack in a giant new production of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK.
Returning due to popular demand are Lisa Riley as the Fairy, Ian Adams will return as dame playing Dame Trott, Black Country favourite Doreen Tipton will appear and Adam C Booth plays the role of Jack’s brother Simple Simon.
Gareth Gates rose to stardom in 2002 as runner-up in the UK’s first Pop Idol. In a phenomenal career which followed he has sold more than 3.5 million records in the UK, released three albums and had four UK number one singles.
Alongside his pop career Gareth has been seen on ITV1’s Dancing on Ice and The Big Reunion 2014 for ITV. Gareth’s theatre career has seen him play the role of Marius in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Misérables for Sir Cameron Mackintosh, in Loserville at West Yorkshire Playhouse and the UK tours of Legally Blonde and Boogie Nights the Musical. He has regularly toured in the concert Mad About the Musicals and is currently starring in the second leg of the UK tour of Footloose. Last Saturday Gareth appeared as part of the line-up Boys Aloud, recreating the Girls Aloud hit Biology for BBC’s Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief.
Lisa Riley captured the hearts of Wolverhampton as the Slave Of The Ring in last year’s pantomime, Aladdin. Lisa is a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women and is known for playing Mandy Dingle in the ITV1 soap Emmerdale from 1995 to 2001. She more recently wowed viewers on the BBC1 series Strictly Come Dancing. Lisa also appeared in a Grand Theatre pantomime in the 2000 production of Dick Whittington as Fairy Bowbells.
Ian Adams returns to the role of dame, asserting himself as a family favourite as Widow Twankey in last year’s pantomime, Aladdin. Ian wrote and performed in a production of Dick Whittington that was the very first pantomime to be presented inside London Zoo. Recently, Ian formed StarDam productions – a company who specialise in creating stage versions of popular children’s stories.
Lazy Black Country internet sensation Doreen Tipton will appear as herself this year, it’s a lot of effort playing a different character. She has become a national treasure – at least regionally – in her native Black Country. Doreen’s original million hit YouTube viral success has now blossomed into a series of theatre tours, a full-length feature film featuring fellow Yam Yam and rock legend Robert Plant and Steve Bull, an autobiography (which somebody else had to write) her own BBC radio show, and even her own online comedy sketch channel called Doreen TV.
Adam C Booth who received great critical acclaim as Wishee Washee in last year’s production of Aladdin will play Jack’s brother Simple Simon. Adam is a regular on Keith Lemon’s Sketch Show. Adam’s other TV appearances include Keith Lemon’s Lemon La Vida Loca, Pearly Gates (BBC), Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. Adam’s roles in theatre include Pepper in the West End production of Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Boogie Nights and Footloose.
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK opens at the Grand Theatre on Saturday 9 December 2017 and runs until Sunday 14 January 2018. Tickets are already on sale and can be booked in person, by phone on 01902 42 92 12 or online at grandtheatre.co.uk.