4 min read
Celebrated playwright and top soap screenwriter Philip Meeks (Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Doctors) is swapping his pen for a stunning array of colourful costumes to play the hilarious Nursie in the magical pantomime Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool Grand Theatre this Christmas… Oh yes, he is!
Tickets are already flying out for this fantastic family show! – Some performances from Friday 2 December to Sunday 1 January are already offering limited availability…
Witty wordsmith Philip has won critical acclaim for his plays and screenwriting – including the smash-hit one woman show Harpy starring Su Pollard, which recently visited The Grand. But he just loves to play the Panto Dame live on stage every Christmas and has been delighting countless pantomime fans over the years with his playful persona and magnificent costumes.
“There is a lot of cheeky behaviour from my Panto Dames,” said Philip. “But nothing rude and I don’t favour picking on males in the audience. It’s all about making it fabulous for the little ones and having lots of innocent fun.”
Philip also isn’t giving much away about this year’s outrageous Panto Dame outfits, but he did let slip that he will be back with a whole new wardrobe! “It’s so very Blackpool,” he said. “Glamourous, but not too above itself. My new frocks include one I’m certain all the dads will find very hot indeed… and a little number that is a double tribute to a beloved national institution AND a community at the heart of Blackpool.” Nursie might also be sporting a striking pink, fake leopard skin coat at some point in fond memory of Philip’s beloved Gran, who first introduced him to Blackpool when he was a child. “Gran had a coat just the same and it’s in memory of her that I always try to wear that on stage. It might make an appearance if Nursie runs out of medicinal sherry and has to pop to the Co-Op between shows!”
This year, Philip will be swapping lines with Dancing on Ice champion and Emmerdale star Hayley Tamaddon and Britain’s Got Talent finalist and family favourite Steve Royle in Sleeping Beauty’s enchanting tale of magic, mayhem and misunderstandings live on the Grand Theatre’s famous stage. Philip said of his cast mates: “Sleeping Beauty is my favourite pantomime and it’s so great to be back in Blackpool with Steve and to work with Hayley who I wrote lots for when she was a Dingle in Emmerdale, including some of her first ever scenes!”
Sleeping Beauty is jam-packed with marvellous music and dance, fun and laughter, stunning sets, amazing costumes and exciting special effects to keep audiences both young and old entertained! This fabulous, feel-good tale is sprinkled with lots of seasonal sparkles and is the perfect way to experience the traditional magic of Christmas.
nd what is more traditional than a Panto Dame!
Blackpool Grand Theatre has been introducing the joy of pantomime to enraptured families for many, many years with a whole host of top names taking the coveted Panto Dame spot!
Let’s take a look back at all the Grand Panto Dames over the last twenty years:
1981 – Roy Barraclough as Dame Trott in Emu in Pantoland
1982 – Bobbie Kent/Eddie Munroe as The Ugly Sisters in Cinderella
1983 – Roy Barraclough as Widow Twankey in Aladdin
1985 – Tommy Trafford as Mrs Crusoe in Robinson Crusoe
1986 – Tommy Trafford as Dame Trot in Jack and the Beanstalk
1987 – Billy Whittaker as Mrs Whittington in Turn again, Whittington
1988 – Danny La Rue as Widow Twankey in Aladdin
1989 – Peter Thorne as Dame Durden in Jack and the Beanstalk
1990 – Trevor Bradford/Austin Prince as The Ugly Sisters in Cinderella
1991 – Russell Grant as Dame Sadie Spangle in Goldilocks
1996 – Tom Bright/John Peate as The Ugly Sisters in Cinderella
1997 – Tom Bright as Dame in Jack and the Beanstalk
1998 – Charles Burden as Widow Twankey in Aladdin
1999 – Tom Bright as Fanny the Cook in Dick Whittington
2000 – Tom Bright as Nurse Fanny in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.
2001 – Bobbie Kent/Jamie Morris as The Ugly Sisters in Cinderella
2002 – Ken Morley as Widow Twankey in Aladdin
2004 – Mike Grady as Dame Trott in Jack and the Beanstalk
2006 – Charles Burden as Sarah the Cook in Dick Whittington
2007 – Douglas Mounce as Nurse Nelly in Sleeping Beauty
2008 – Jamie Morris/Terry Keeble as The Ugly Sisters in Cinderella
2010 – Douglas Mounce as Widow Twankey in Aladdin
2012 – Jamie Morris/Tarot Joseph as The Ugly Sisters in Cinderella
2014 – Nick Wilton as Nurse Nelly in Sleeping Beauty
2015 – Jamie Steen as Nurse Dolly in Snow White
2016 – Philip Meeks as Widow Twankey in Aladdin
2017 – Jamie Morris/Tarot Joseph as The Ugly Sisters in Cinderella
2018 – Nick Wilton as Polly La Plonk in Beauty and the Beast
2020 – Nick Wilton in Pandemonium
2021 – Jamie Steen as Nurse Dolly in Snow White
The fabulous Philip Meeks will join this illustrious list once again from Friday 2 December 2022 as Nursie in Sleeping Beauty!
Once upon a time, a beautiful princess pricks her finger on a spindle wheel, which has been cursed by the evil Carabosse, on the eve of her 18th Birthday party. Can the Good Fairy’s magical spell break the curse? The Princess can only be awoken by true love’s kiss. Will she find her true love and live happily ever after? Fly to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre and find out how the story ends…
The fantastic family pantomime at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre is always a laugh-a-minute extravaganza and is truly a magical treat for all the family you won’t want to miss!
Wakey Wakey! Don’t get caught napping!
Join us for the greatest pantomime ever told starring Philip Meeks as Panto Dame Nursie alongside TV favourites Hayley Tamaddon and Steve Royle! It’s never too early to book your seats! It’s a fabulous, fairytale treat for all the family this festive season!
Sleeping Beauty is presented by Martin Dodd for UK Productions Ltd, who has presented the Christmas pantomime at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre since 1996.
Sleeping Beauty is at Blackpool Grand Theatre from Friday 2 December 2022 to Sunday 1 January 2023 with matinee and evening performances.
Accessible performances will also be available.
Tickets are already selling fast! Book your seats now!
Please call the Box Office on 01253 290190 or visit www.BlackpoolGrand.co.uk for bookings and further information.
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