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Marlowe Theatre's panto opens in Canterbury this week and at the Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone


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It’s curtain up for the first two pantos of this Christmas in Kent this week.

The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury opens its laugh-out-loud show on Friday, November 26.

It's curtain up this week for the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk Picture: The Marlowe Theatre
It's curtain up this week for the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk Picture: The Marlowe Theatre

Former boy band star Duncan James hopes to bring some magic to the county this Christmas when he performs in panto here for the first time.

He will play the title role in Jack and the Beanstalk at the theatre in Canterbury this year, alongside Strictly’s Joanne Clifton - and he can’t wait.

The former Blue singer said: “I really love panto season. It takes me back to my childhood and going to see a panto with my mum. I love that parents can come to see some live theatre. To be part of something so special at Christmas makes me feel, as a performer, really happy.”

He revealed that his friend Rita Simons, who played Roxy in EastEnders, had recommended he work with Evolution Productions, who have been putting on the Marlowe’s production for more than a decade, after appearing in their production at the Marlowe back in 2015.

Former Strictly star Joanne Clifton will take to the stage for this year's pantomime at the Marlowe Theatre Picture: The Marlowe Theatre
Former Strictly star Joanne Clifton will take to the stage for this year's pantomime at the Marlowe Theatre Picture: The Marlowe Theatre
Local favourite Ben Roddy is back again this year Picture: The Marlowe Theatre
Local favourite Ben Roddy is back again this year Picture: The Marlowe Theatre

Joanne said of the chance to play Fairy Sugarsnap: "Panto is magical. It’s for the whole family, everyone gets involved. I cannot think of a better way to spend my Christmas.”

For our guide to all the pantos across Kent this Christmas click here.

Back for a twelfth year is panto favourite Ben Roddy as Dame Trott, with Marc Pickering back as the baddie.

Emily Wood of producers Evolution Productions said: “It means so much to people - it means a family Christmas, with the town buzzing.

"It is exciting and it is fun. We just want to have a good laugh.”

The show runs from Friday, November 26 to Sunday, January 9. For tickets click here or call 01227 787787.

At Maidstone's Hazlitt Theatre, Jack and the Beanstalk opens on Saturday, November 27.

Francesca Pim plays Fairy in the Hazlitt Theatre show Picture: KMG
Francesca Pim plays Fairy in the Hazlitt Theatre show Picture: KMG

The show stars Harry Revell as Jack and Francesca Pim as the Fairy.

She said: “It will be full of family fun, it will be sparkly with happy toe-tapping tunes and you will leave with a smile on your face.”

It will run until Sunday, January 2. Book here or call 01622 758611.

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