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Kent pantomimes this Christmas for all the family for 2017 at theatres across the county

By Angela Cole

No festive season is complete without a chance to boo and hiss at our favourite baddies - and to see true love conquer all. Here's where to head for panto across Kent this Christmas

Maidstone Panto at Maidstone Studios

Peter Pan

From Friday, December 15 to Saturday, January 6, 2018

Amelia Lily as Tinkerbell and Lloyd Daniels as Peter Pan, appearing at Maidstone Studios this Christmas

Vexx Pantomimes Ltd will stage Peter Pan, with a cast of famous faces from TV, at the New Cut Road Studios – where TV shows such as Later with Jools Holland and Take Me Out are filmed – for the first time.

The star-studded cast includes Hollyoaks star James Sutton, who left the Channel 4 soap earlier this year after 10 years, with Peter Pan being played by Lloyd Daniels, a finalist in ITV’s X Factor in 2010, who has since headlined Bill Kenwright’s UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. TOWIE star Pascal Craymer and former Miss England finalist will star as Tiger Lily while also starring will be Dave Short as Dame Mrs Starkey with local actor Jazmin Patey-Ford as Wendy.

For tickets visit maidstonepanto.com or tickets@maidstonepanto.com, or call 0800 999 7755.

The first production by Vexx Pantomimes this Christmas will be Peter Pan. Picture: Dave Short as Mrs Starkey and Adam Hoffman as Mr Smee

Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells


To Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Former EastEnders heart throbMichael Greco, who played bad boy Beppe di Marco, leads the cast as Abanazar, in the classic rags to riches tale, featuring a beautiful Princess, magic lamps and a hilarious genie. From Britain’s Got Talent, Jess Robinson – the woman of a 1,000 voices – will play the role of the Slave of the Ring while Aladdin will be played by CBBC presenter and Celebrity Wipeout star Mark Rhodes.

Tom Whalley playes PC Pong with Chris Pizzey, known for his appearances on the Basil Brush Show, playing Wishee Washee, nine years after last appearing at the theatre, and Quinn Patrick as Widow Twankey. The show is produced by UK Productions in association with the theatre and directed by John-Jackson Almond.

Tickets from £10. Call the box office on 01892 530613. For details visit assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

Michael Greco and the cast of Aladdin at High Rocks in Tunbridge Wells Picture: Phil Lee

Orchard Theatre, Dartford


To Sunday, December 31

Larger than life TV personality Louie Spence and former EastEnder and Coronation Street star Michelle Collins team up for panto in Dartford this Christmas. Louie, whose dancing career began with the likes of Miss Saigon and Cats, first pirouetted into the nationa’s hearts with Sky One’s Pineapple Dance Studios and Louie Spence’s Showbusiness.

Michelle played Cindy Beale for more than 10 years in the BBC soap EastEnders and has also played Stella Rice, landlady of Coronation Street’s Rovers Return. Also appearing will be Jayne Wisener as Cinderella and Luke Kelly as Prince Charming. Cinderella will be staged by Qdos Entertainment, the company responsible for the theatre’s recordbreaking productions Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Dick Whittington.

Tickets from £18. To book go to orchardtheatre.co.uk or call 01322 220000.

The stars of the Orchard Theatre's pantomime this Christmas, Cinderella

Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Peter Pan

To Sunday, January 14, 2018.

Headed by Kent’s own Shaun Williamson, who lives in Maidstone, as Captain Hook, the show comes from the hugely successful team behind the theatre’s pantomimes for some years.

Coronation Street star Wendi Peters joins him as Mrs Darling, with Gemma Hunt, from CBeebies show Swashbuckle, playing Tiger Lily. Popular panto dame Ben Roddy once again plays the Dame, this year Mrs Smee, while fellow regular Lloyd Hollett plays Starkey.

For tickets call 01227 787787, or go to marlowetheatre.com.

The cast of Peter Pan at the Marlowe Theatre Picture: Paul Amos

The Woodville, Gravesend

Sleeping Beauty

From Saturday, December 9 to New Year’s Day

The show will star actress and television presenter Linda Lusardi as the Wicked Queen alongside 90s trio Cleopatra (Comin’ Atcha!) as the three Good Fairies. Plus local faces include Gravesend favourite Ant Payne as Silly Billy and Kent actor and director Rob Forknall – director of the Changeling Theatre – returning to panto in Kent as the Nanny.

For tickets from £14 visit gravesendpanto.com

Linda Lusardi is the Wicked Fairy in the 2017 Christmas panto at The Woodville

Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone


Wednesday, December 13 to Saturday, December 30.

Everyone’s favourite fairytale, Cinderella, comes from the creative team behind last year’s smash hit Jack and the Beanstalk. The show features special effects, stunning costumes and sets and promises to be the perfect mix of song and dance and fun for the whole family.

For tickets from £14.15 call 0844 871 3015 or visit atgtickets.com/venues/leas-cliff- hall/

The cast of this Christmas's panto at Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

The Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

To Sunday, January 7, 2018.

Popular CBBC presenter Ed Petrie will appear with star of 70s TV show Tiswas, Bob Carolgees, and his sidekick Spit the Dog in panto in Sevenoaks. They will be joined by Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Danny Beard and West End star Keith Jack in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. Stag panto regular Jasette Amos returns for her fifth year as the Wicked Queen.

For tickets from £14, call 01732 450175 or visit sevenoakspanto.com.

Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog will be in panto in Sevenoaks this Christmas

Central Theatre, Chatham

Sleeping Beauty

To Sunday, December 31

Former Brookside actor and TV and stage star Claire Sweeney will play the wicked Carabosse in this year’s Christmas production. Former Hollyoaks actor Joe Tracini will return to Medway to play Chester and veteran pantomime dame Ian Good will play Joe’s on-stage mum, Dame Nellie Night Nurse.

For tickets starting at £15 call 01634 338388 or visit medwayticketslive.co.uk or jordanproductionsltd.co.uk

Claire Sweeney and Andy Moss meet Lily and Sophia Kirk at the launch of the Central Theatre's panto, Sleeping Beauty Picture: Steve Crispe

Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone


To Sunday, December 31.

Sprinkle some Cinderella magic on your countdown to Christmas with the theatre’s show featuring the star of Bafta nominated The Real Marigold Hotel Rustie Lee as the Fairy Godmother, alongside Ugly Sisters Adam Borzone and Stephen Richards. Stefan Booth stars as Prince Charming with Elizabeth Bright as Cinderella in the most magical pantomime of them all.

For tickets from £20 call 01622 758611 or visit parkwoodtheatres.co.uk

Stars of the Hazlitt's panto this year, Rustie Lee and Stefan Booth

EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School, Tonbridge


From Saturday, December 16 to Saturday, December 30

Wicked Productions return this Christmas with Aladdin, starring Tom Swift as Wishee Washee, local TV and comedy legend Michael Fenton Stevens as Widow Twankey and local favourite Amanda Swift as Genie. Enjoy a magical carpet ride to the Far East with laugh-out-loud jokes, special effects and an astonishing Flying Carpet.For tickets call 01732 304241 or visit emftheatre.com

Theatre Royal Margate

The Wizard of Oz

From Saturday, December 9 to Sunday, December 31.

Wicked Productions return to the Theatre Royal for their third spectacular year with a pantomime version of The Wizard of Oz. Join Kansas girl Dorothy Gale, as she’s blown away to the magical and enchanted land of Oz, and meets Scarecrow, Tin Man and a cowardly Lion on the way to Emerald City. Will their wishes be granted by the all-powerful Oz, or will their plan be thwarted by the Wicked Witch of the West? ‘Jezo’ returns for his third year to play the Scarecrow, with Margate pantomime favourite, Georgia Rowland-Elliott, as Dorothy.

For tickets call 01843 292795 or visit Theatreroyalmargate.com

The Wizard of Oz panto will be in Margate this Christmas

Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne

Beauty and the Beast

From Friday, December 15 to Wednesday, December 27.

Celebrity Big Brother winner and former cage fighter Alex Reid – who was also once married to glamour model Katie Price – will lead the cast of this year’s Sittingbourne pantomime.

Alex will play the evil Gaston in Beauty and the Beast in what will be his third panto performance. He will be joined by Sheerness’s own Robert Brendan, who played the Prince last year in Snow White. Panto favourite Harry Moore will play Dame Dumpling.

For tickets visit sittingbournepanto.co.uk

Alex Reid will play Gaston in panto at the Swallows in Sittingbourne this Christmas

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