A beauty of a panto in store as some familiar faces return

Fred Broom as Auroras mother Queen Iona Trumpet.
Fred Broom as Auroras mother Queen Iona Trumpet.

Christmas is just around the corner (oh yes it is!) and this means a new pantomime hitting the Key Theatre stage (oh yes it does!).

And cast announcements last week have revealed some familiar faces returning for this winter’s performances of Sleeping Beauty.

Simon Egerton returns as director, writer, composer and lyricist, having become a regular fixture in Key Theatre pantos since working on Cinderella back in 2013.

The award-winning musical director has produced the touring cabaret show ‘Fag Ends and Families’, which was a hit at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as ‘Parkway Dreams’ - a documentary musical about the expansion of Peterborough in the 1970s.

Rob Hazle also returns as musical director and will play the part of Potty of Chamberlain, following his role as Uncle Billy in Dick Whittington last year.

Other returning faces include CBeebies star Lizzie Franks, who played Fairy Liquid in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2015 and has appeared in BBC shows such as Mister Maker’s Arty Party and Grandpa in my Pocket.

She has since performed in productions such as Cinderella, The Tale of Mr Tumble and The Snow Queen.

Katie Pritchard is another returning star, having performed as pocket-sized Dandini in the 2013 Cinderella show.

A renowned comedienne who last year won the Hilarity Bites New Act of the Year Award, Katie will be pairing up with Lizzie this year as a fairy. The wing-fluttering magical trio is completed by newcomer Sarah Whittuck, who has previously acted in Peter Pan, Puss in Boots, and on TV in Marigold and The Bill.

Other fresh faces include Kate Baxter, who will don the knee high boots of thigh-slapping Prince Florian, and Sam Pay, who is crowned as the unfortunately named King Donald Trumpet - Aurora’s father.

Any pantomime needs a Dame: this year, Fred Bloom will don the many frocks of Aurora’s mother and Donald’s wife, Queen Iona Trumpet. With roles in Wind in the Willows and Sweeney Todd behind him, as well as various dame and drag roles, Fred is no stranger to the stage or frocks.

A children’s chorus has also been selected, showcasing the best young Peterborough talent.

Thirty children will rotate through the 60 shows, singing, dancing and acting their socks off.

What’s more, since Sleeping Beauty is a new and original production for the Key Theatre, there’ll be no chance of falling into an enchanted sleep!

The Key Theatre pantomime is the longest-running in Peterborough, and has been staged in the city since the early 70s.

The new run begins on Thursday, December 7, and continues until Sunday, January 7. Tickets can be booked on 01733 207239 or on the Vivacity website www.vivacity-peterborough.com