Only Fools and Horses' Marlene to star in Stevenage panto
IT may only be September but theatres around the country are already readying themselves for pantomime season.
The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage is no different and revealed at a launch party last week that this year’s production is the classic fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The Comet were invited to the theatre for a sneak preview and had a chat with three of the stars of the show in the process.
Heading this year’s cast is Sue Holderness, best known to the nation as Marlene Boyce in BBC comedy series Only Fools and Horses.
Sue is no stranger to the stage though having regularly appeared in panto’s throughout the UK, many in the same role as she will play at the Gordon Craig Theatre, the Wicked Queen.
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Speaking about her tendency to always play an evil character, Sue said: “I have been very nice recently so I can feel the evil building up inside of me!
“I love being evil -it’s much more fun.”
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Sue, who will fly back to the UK from Barbados the day before the panto kicks off on November 27, will be joined by Gordon Craig favourite Paul Laidlaw.
Paul first appeared at a Stevenage panto in 1993 - or so he thinks - so is well accustomed to donning a frock and will do so again this year, his 15th show at the theatre, as Dame Dolly.
He said: “People at Stevenage have been very good to me and it’s going to be very special.”
Katie Rowley-Jones, who will play Snow White, is no stranger to Comet country either having grew up in Ashwell and will return to her roots following more than a year at the London Palladium in Sister Act.
Having been involved in amateur dramatic productions at Plinston Hall, Letchworth GC, and the Gordon Craig in her youth, Katie is excited about her return.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back to the Gordon Craig after appearing in Bugsy Malone and The Sound of Music when I was about 17, she said.
“I absolutely love doing panto.”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will also feature finalist of BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do Daniel Boys, who will be hoping to win the heart of Snow White as he plays Prince Simon, as well as the ‘magnificent seven’ of Pop, Dippy, Grouchy, Smiler, Allergy, Snoozy and Blusher.
*The opening performance at the Gordon Craig Theatre takes place on Saturday, November 27, at 2.30pm, with the panto running until Sunday, January 23. Call 01438 363200 to book tickets.