RICKY THOMLINSON AS JIM ROYLE TO FEATURE
AS THE MAGIC MIRROR IN EASTER PANTO!
LHK Productions and the Epstein Theatre has announced an additional name to their Easter
pantomime cast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Liverpool actor and comedian Ricky
Thomlinson will feature in the role of The Magic Mirror in the guise of Jim Royle.
Producer Lee Kelly has already confirmed The Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother star James Hill in the title role, who will leave the boardroom to tread the boards at The Epstein Theatre for the very first time. The show also stars local actress Georgia Austin to the role of Snow White,
TV and Radio presenter, Debi Jones, who makes a welcome return to the stage as the Wicked Queen. Meanwhile, Liverpool favourite, Michael Chapman will return as the hilarious panto dame!
Ricky is probably best known for his roles as Bobby Grant in Brookside and the lazy but loveable Jim Royle in the The Royle Family. His acting credits span over 30 years and include many more comedy and dramatic roles such as the lead character in Mike Bassett: England Manager, DCI Charlie Wise in Cracker, and the poignant portrayal of John Glover, father of Hillsborough victim Ian, in the Jimmy McGovern drama Hillsborough.
In the role of The Magic Mirror, Ricky will appear in 27 performances as TV favourite Jim Royle from The Royle Family, the TV slob and couch potato will be declaring “Who is the fairest of them all”.
On joining the show Ricky Thomlinson said: “I am delighted to be part of the Easter Panto with
LHK Productions, it is a perfect starring role for me, I appear in 27 performances and don’t even need to leave my comfortable, trusty armchair! Remote at the ready, this is going to be a barrel of fun”.
Producer Lee Kelly said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Ricky has decided to be filmed to play the Magic Mirror, this really is the icing on the cake of what is already a fabulous cast for our Easter Panto, Snow White.
“it is going to be hilarious to have Jim Royle pop up from his sofa, vest and all throughout the show!”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will play at the Epstein Theatre from 24th March, 2016 to the 6th April 2016. The show promises to deliver the same mix of fun and traditional pantomime with a fresh and current twist which LHK Productions are famous for. Complete with sensational songs, stunning choreography, the panto will feature poisoned apples, magical mirrors, a brilliant cast and, of course, a sprinkling of panto magic…
This timeless tale, and one of the nation’s favourite pantomimes, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs tells the story of a beautiful princess whose vain and jealous stepmother is hell-bent on getting rid of her and becoming “the fairest of them all.”
LEAD STAR ANNOUNCED FOR EPSTEIN CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME!
CINDERELLA’S PRINCE CHARMING GUARANTEED TO BE ‘THE BEST’
LHK Productions are whisking us off to a magical ball this Christmas time, as they announce that
the spell-binding tale of Cinderella will return to Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre from Thu 10 Dec
2015–Sun 3 Jan 2016. Tickets are already on sale.
LHK always guarantee to bring a refreshing all-star cast to the stage and this year is no exception,
producer Lee Kelly is delighted to reveal that heart-throb Calum Best will star in his panto debut
as Prince Charming, and is certain to get hearts racing across the region.
The son of football legend George Best, Calum has had huge success as an international model,
fronting campaigns for top fashion brands, as well as finding fame as an actor, television
personality and reality TV star.
He was crowned the winner of the second series of ITV1’s Celebrity Love Island in 2006,
appeared in ITV2 series Calum, Fran and Dangerous Danan and as a judge on ITV2’s Paris
Hilton’s British Best Friend. Most recently, he was a housemate in 2015’s Celebrity Big
Brother on Channel 5.
Calum Best said: “I'm so excited to be making my panto debut in beautiful Liverpool; it is a great
city and one of my favourite places to visit so I am delighted to be spending Christmas there.
It will be a fantastic show which I am thrilled to be a part of and I can’t wait to experience all the
magic that panto has to offer. See you all at the show!”
Returning to the Epstein Theatre for their 4th festive season, LHK’s Cinderella tells the much-loved
story of a beautiful young girl kept captive by her wicked ugly step sisters. When Cinders is invited
to a magnificent ball at the palace, her two fiendish ugly step-sisters forbid her to attend.
With a wave of a magic wand, her very own fairy godmother appears to save the day and she is transformed in to a dazzling princess. After a magical evening dancing endlessly with Prince Charming, midnight approaches and poor Cinders has to depart before the spell is broken.
With a single glass slipper left behind, will Prince Charming be able to find his princess? Will Cinders escape the clutches of her ugly step-sisters and live happily ever after?
With a live orchestra, real Shetland ponies, lavish sets and exquisite costumes, book your tickets now for the most enchanting Panto in all the land.
Producer Lee Kelly said: “We are really looking forward to having Calum in this year’s show and coming to Liverpool for Xmas. I know he will be a great addition to the cast. We have plenty of surprises and announcements still to come and I am certain this will be our best show yet.”
The full cast who will join Calum Best this Christmas will be announced in the coming months, so watch this space!
Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, Hanover St, Liverpool L1 3DZ
Thu 10 Dec 2015 – Sun 3 Jan 2016
Performance times vary (check with Box Office).
Tickets: £19 Adults/ £17 Concession/ £66 Family
Special Opening Night Offer: All seats £12.50
HOW TO BOOK
Call 0844 888 4411, visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk or book in person at the theatre box office (open 2pm-6pm Mon-Thu & 12pm-6pm Fri-Sat)
Or via TicketQuarter: Call 0844 8000 410, visit www.ticketquarter.co.uk or book in person at TicketQuarter, Queen Square, Liverpool.
BIG BROTHER WINNER ALEX REID MAKES HIS PANTO
DEBUT AS GENIE IN ALADDIN AT THE STIWT THEATRE
Celebrity Big Brother winner and former cage fighter Alex Reid is to take on
his first professional panto role in North Wales.
The six feet tall, 13 stone martial arts master, kick boxer and actor is set to
leave audiences spellbound playing the genie in Aladdin at The Stiwt Theatre,
Rhos, Wrexham, from December 11 to 30.
Alex, who once starred in TV soap Hollyoaks and was formerly married to
glamour model Katie Price, can’t wait to strut his stuff as the magical genie
released from a mystical oil lamp by Aladdin in the cave of wonders.
He said: “I love traditional panto and I’m really looking forward to playing at a
historic theatre like The Stiwt.”
He’s glad to be returning to the public eye in such a fun, family role after what
he describes as several hurtful years at the centre of a ‘media pantomime’.
They followed two failed relationships, first with Katie Price and then with fellow
Celebrity Big Brother contestant Chantelle Houghton, with whom he
has a daughter, Dolly Reid.
Alex, 40, known as the Reidernator to his army of cage fighting fans, said he
had battled hard to restore his reputation after being at the centre of a barrage
of salacious tabloid stories about his personal life.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to be famous and I know that with that comes a certain amount of publicity but it can still be hurtful when headlines about your private life are bandied around day after day.
“It was hard to get acting work for some of that time and I returned to mixed martial arts and cage fights as a way of coping.
“Training, keeping fit, and putting my focus on surviving the next fight was my way of getting through.”
The high profile muscular athlete who competed in more than 300 professional fights has been a fan of action movies since he was a child. He always wanted to be a superhero but ended up playing the antihero when he was booed on entering the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2010. At the time he told TV presenter Davina McCall that he aimed to turn the boos of the crowds into cheers. He succeeded by winning that year’s competition.
Now he aims to win over the audience again in his role as the Stiwt genie who grants three wishes to Aladdin.
He said: “Being on stage in front of a theatre full of people doesn’t make me nervous. I love the adrenaline rush of it all. But I work hard at all the roles I play. It’s important to know your lines and with something like panto it’s vital to get the timing right otherwise a key joke or punchline might fall flat. Pantomime acting is a real skill in itself and I can’t wait to get my teeth into it.”
He said acting has always been a great form of escapism for him and after a few early TV roles and bit parts the Aldershot-born showman enrolled on a year long course at Guildford School of Acting after being encouraged to do so by action hero actor Vin Diesel.
To date, Alex’s movie work has seen him win roles in the film Sliding Doors and as a stand in for Oscar winner Tom Hanks in the box office hit Saving Private Ryan.
He was also one of the most popular contestants on the TV series Gladiators and he's now opened his own health and fitness juicing retreat in the tourist hotspot of Marbella
He said: “I’ve always loved performing, it’s something my whole career has revolved around. Even in martial arts and as a cage fighter there was a strong performance element involved, creating a stage persona and getting the audience on my side. That’s something I hope to do again at The Stiwt.”
Alex now lives in Hendon, North London, with his fiancee Nikki Manashe, but he has a sister living in Colwyn Bay and lots of friends in the north west as a result of his time on Hollyoaks, so he is looking forward to visiting North Wales.
He said: “It’s strange, I have travelled all over the world and been to some beautiful destinations but there are lots of places here in Britain that I have yet to see. That’s another benefit of pantomime and theatre work, you get to explore some fantastic towns right here at home.”
He said 2015 is turning into a good year for him with his magical new Stiwt Theatre role being just one of the highlights on his calendar. He also has a book due out soon, a movie role on the horizon and next year is to present a TV documentary about life in a small tribal community in Kenya.
Lee Kelly of Liverpool based LHK Productions which is producing Aladdin said he is delighted to have Alex on board.
He said: “This is a real coup for us. Alex is a really nice guy and will be great in the role of the genie. Everyone here is looking forward to working with him.”
This winter is the sixth year Lee and his team have produced The Stiwt pantomime and they are hoping it will be one of their biggest hits ever.
He said: “Tickets are already on sale and are selling well so we advise everyone to book early and make sure they get to see a great show.”
Aladdin runs at The Stiwt from December 11-30, with both matinee and evening performances.
To book tickets or for more information visit https://stiwt.ticketsolve.com or call Box Office 01978841300
LHK PRODUCTIONS SEEKS TALENTED ACTS TO PERFORM IN ONE OF THE REGION’S BIGGEST VARIETY SHOWS
LHK YOUTH THEATRE CO | FAME - The Musical
After fleeing the kingdom to escape the Wicked Queen’s evil plans, Snow White seeks refuge with seven dwarfs in their cottage in the forest. Taking pity on poor Snow White, the dwarfs allow her to stay with them until a wicked spell is cast which only true love can conquer.
Snow White runs for 27 magical performances and will be the unmissable Easter event of the year. So book your tickets now for the most enchanting panto in the land.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
Thur, 24TH March, 2016 – Weds, 6rd April 2016
Performance times vary (check with Box Office)
Tickets: £17 adults/£15.00 concession/£56 family *booking fees apply
A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF CELEBRITIES LINED UP FOR LHK’S STAR-STUDDED CHRISTMAS PANTO
LHK Productions is thrilled to reveal its star-studded cast for its 2016 Christmas pantomime Aladdin at The Epstein Theatre.
Producer Lee Kelly has announced that his new panto for 2016 features a dazzling line-up of
new celebrities for 2016 including Natasha Hamilton, Jordan Davies, Sean Smith and Mark Byron.
And audiences will be thrilled to hear that resident favourites Michael Chapman, Tom Burroughs
and Lewis Pryor will also be returning to the Epstein stage to bring their usual mixture of mirth and
mayhem and all the essential ingredients of a magical family panto!
Headlining Aladdin is singer, TV personality and businesswoman Natasha Hamilton, famous for
being one third of successful girl group Atomic Kitten, and more recently playing the lead role
Mrs Johnstone in the highly acclaimed West End musical Blood Brothers!
Flame-haired beauty Natasha made her pantomime debut when she played the title role in Peter
Pan at the Liverpool Empire and is looking forward to exercising her sultry vocals again when
she plays the feisty Princess Jasmine.
Said Natasha: “I love panto, it’s so much fun so I am really exciting to be appearing in Aladdin
as Princess Jasmine – she’s such a great character. And of course, I can’t wait to perform in my
home town of Liverpool – there’s nowhere better!”
Reality TV star Jordan Davies will be granting lots of wishes when he shows off his highly toned
six-pack in his role as the Genie of the Lamp. The Welsh hunk and star of Magaluf Weekender
and Ex On The Beach is guaranteed to have all the ladies swooning!
He said: “I have wanted to perform on the stage for such a long time. Having been part of ITV2's
biggest show for so many years I can’t wait to get my teeth into something different. I hope
you are all ready for me Liverpool …!”
X Factor finalist, Sean Smith, is flying high in his role as street urchin Aladdin. The singer from
Portsmouth was one half of pop duo Same Difference which came third in the live final in 2007.
Performing with his sister Sarah, the siblings have since split and Sean is awaiting the
release of his debut solo album.
No stranger to the stage, Sean began performing at an early age, appearing in Evita alongside Marti Webb at the age of seven. He left home at 17 to perform on cruise ships and has appeared in numerous pantomimes. Now is looking forward to entertaining the people of Liverpool.
Said Sean: “I've always loved the passion of the people of Liverpool and I'm literally buzzing to reprise my roll of Aladdin at the Epstein theatre. It's going to be an amazing pantomime for all of the family and I urge everyone to come down and join the fun with us. I'm so excited to spend Christmas in one of the best and friendliest cities in the world!”
Meanwhile, Merseyside’s Mark Byron will be on a power trip as the Slave of the Ring. This larger than life Liverpool lad rose to fame on Big Brother Power Trip in 2014 when the public fell in love with his lively personality, funny catchphrases and over the top reactions. Following the show, Mark has maintained a high profile appearing in national magazines, newspapers and regular appearances on Big Brother’s Bit On The Side.
Crowned Liverpool’s Most Stylish Scouser in the Juice FM Style Awards, Mark is looking forward to flaunting his flamboyant costumes as Slave of the Ring!
He said: “I'm so excited to be starring in my first ever panto and I'm over the moon that it's in my home town of Liverpool!”
There is nothing like a dame, especially when she’s played by the hilarious Michael Chapman and audiences will be delighted to know that their favourite panto dame will be back to play Widow Twankey.
Tom Burroughs will have the audience booing aplenty as the evil Abanazar and billed as the one to watch, Lewis Pryor will provide lots of laughs as the cheeky Wishy Washy.
Hot on the heels of its eggcellent Easter panto, Snow White, and smash-hit festive production of Cinderella, LHK’s next panto promises to deliver the same mixture of fun and laughter that audiences have come to expect, as well as stunning scenery, slapstick comedy, sparkling costumes and plenty of glamour provided by the galaxy of stars.
Tickets are now on sale for the festive family panto which will take the audience on a magic carpet ride to an exotic land filled with all-powerful genies, beautiful Princesses, wondrous caves and three wishes which might just make a young man’s dreams come true…
Producer Lee Kelly said: “We’re delighted to reveal our all-star cast for our Christmas pantomime Aladdin which will be bigger and better than ever.
“We have had some amazing celebrities in our recent pantomimes which have starred Callum Best and James Hill and this year’s line-up is even more exciting with four popular personalities to add a touch of glamour to the proceedings!”
Aladdin runs from Thursday, 8th December 2016 to Sunday, January 8th 2017. So make your family’s wish come true and book your tickets now for Liverpool’s most magical carpet ride.
THE ONLY WAY IS WREXHAM THIS CHRISTMAS
The Only Way is Wrexham for a reality TV star who will make his pantomime this Christmas.
Reality TV star Ricky Rayment will be playing the romantic role of Prince Charming in Cinderella
in the annual festive pantomime at the Stiwt Theatre in Wrexham.
The 25-year-old, best known for appearing on ITV’s hit show The Only Way is Essex,
follows in the footsteps of cage-fighter Alex Reid, who played the role of the Genie in
last year’s production Aladdin.
Ricky is no stranger to performing as he kick-started a career in music last year with debut
track ‘Stay True’ featuring K.A.D. However he remains tight-lipped as to whether panto-goers
will see any of his musical talent this festive season.
Ahead of rehearsals starting for the seasonal production, Ricky said he’s excited for the challenge.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started and playing Prince Charming in panto,
especially as I’ve never done one before so it’s all new to me.
“I’ve done reality TV, I’ve done music, now lets see if I can act in a pantomime.
“I hear it’s good fun, on and off stage, so I’m just hoping Wrexham is ready for me. I can’t wait.”
This will be the seventh year Liverpool-based LHK Productions have produced the Christmas
pantomime at the Stiwt Theatre.
Lee Kelly, managing director of LHK Productions, said: “I’m really excited that we’ve got Ricky on board or should I say treading the boards, starring as Prince Charming. It’ll be fantastic to bring a bit of Essex to Wrexham this Christmas.
“We all can’t wait to get started now and return to the Stiwt, I think people who have come to see our pantomimes at the theatre know that our productions are all about that fun factor and this year’s is going to be better than ever before.”
Cinderella will start its run at the Stiwt Theatre, from December 10 to 31, with evening and matinee performances.
Tickets are available from www.stiwt.com or from the box office on 01978 841300.
ALL-STAR CAST REVEALED FOR THE EPSTEIN THEATRE’S EGG-CITING EASTER PANTO
Call 911! Temperatures will be shooting through the roof in Merseyside as LHK Productions has revealed its egg-citing all-star cast for its Easter pantomime Sleeping Beauty.
After its phenomenal Christmas panto Aladdin, which received rave reviews, LHK Productions is delighted to return to The Epstein Theatre this Easter with another egg-cellent panto from Friday. April 7 – Sunday April 23 and, as ever, audiences can expect it to be a dazzling, star-studded affair.
Producer Lee Kelly has announced that boyband star and heart-throb Lee Brennan will be starring in the panto alongside Liverpool’s very own queen of stage and screen Tina Malone.
Lee from 911 is guaranteed to give the audience a Night to Remember as he plays the charming Prince who endeavours to awaken Sleeping Beauty from eternal slumber with a spot of Bodyshakin’.
Meanwhile, Shameless and Brookside star Tina Malone will be casting her spell over audiences. Best known as Mimi Maguire in the Channel 4 comedy-drama, get ready to boo and hiss as she will be up to no good as the evil fairy Carabosse.
Panto favourite Michael Chapman will once again bring his hilarity to the stage getting up to all kinds of mischief as Dame Nurse Nellie, and after captivating audiences as Slave of the Ring in LHK’s 2015 Wrexham production of Aladdin, Lucy Edge stars as Sleeping Beauty.
Telling the tale of the beautiful Princess Aurora who is cursed by an evil fairy, and must wait in eternal slumber until the spell is broken by true love’s kiss, Sleeping Beauty is a timeless fairytale classic.
In true LHK style, expect eye-catching sets, sparkling costumes, laugh-a-minute scripts, superb songs and explosive choreography. Sleeping Beauty is guaranteed to be another egg-cellent panto production - perfect for the whole family to enjoy this Easter.
Producer Lee Kelly said: “I was the delighted with the success of our Christmas panto Aladdin but I think our Easter panto will be even more egg-citing!
“Everyone loves the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty and we have an amazing cast who will have the audience under their spell. We have lots of surprises in store and fun for all the family!”
Lee Brennan said: “I’ve always loved performing in Liverpool, the crowds are always amazing and I have so many memories from back in the 90s and recently again having toured with my band 911.
“I also performed in Footloose the musical in Liverpool in 2016 so it’s a place I know very well and I cannot wait to perform at the Epstein theatre as the Prince in Sleeping Beauty as it’s a role I’ve never played before! It’s going to be a great show for all ages and it’s going to be lots of fun with a brilliant cast!”
Tina Malone added: “I can’t wait to get onto the Epstein stage. I love doing panto, especially in Liverpool and I am looking forward to getting up there and scaring everyone – Mimi will look like a pussycat in comparison!”
So, give your family an Easter treat and book tickets now for this enchanting panto!