GAVIN AND STACEY STAR IN PANTO
What’s occurring? Top TV comedy and stage star Melanie Walters has been whisked away from Gavin and Stacey to play Fairy Godmother in this year’s magical family pantomime Cinderella at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre from Tuesday 5 December to Sunday 7 January that’s what!
The accomplished actress, who played Stacey’s omelette mad mum Gwen West in the BAFTA- winning BBC comedy, is scrambling to get back into live theatre and can’t wait to get back into a panto costume. “Doing theatre is a lifestyle choice for me and to do it in such a wonderful space as Blackpool’s Grand is such a bonus,” says the star of renowned stage productions The Importance of Being Earnest and The Iliad to name just a few.
“I love the concentration of six weeks you get with pantomime. It’s hard work, but it’s so worthwhile as you know the audience has come to enjoy themselves and you always get such a response – especially from the children and you see the journey they are taking through the show.”
Melanie has also appeared in top TV shows The Collection, Gavin and Stacey, Doc Martin, Coronation St and Under Milkwood, but it was the BBC breakthrough hit Gavin & Stacey created by Ruth Jones and James Corden that catapulted the whole cast to fame. The award-winning comedy follows the long- distance relationship between Essex-born Gavin and Welsh girl Stacey and their respective friends and families. Melanie played Stacey’s caring, widowed mum Gwen who whips up an omelette at every occasion!
“We had no idea it was going to be the huge hit it was,” says Melanie. “But we did know we were part of something special. It was so perfectly cast and had such a character driven script. All the cast just gelled right away and we had an amazing time making it. Another bonus was that I got to stay in Wales, which is my home and where my family are. I have to travel for a lot of my work obviously, but when it comes to a choice between Woolich or the Mumbles,” she laughs. “It’s just about quality of life.” And will Melanie be whipping up any omelettes for her fellow panto cast members this year? “Well of course!” she laughs again. “I’m sure they would love that.”
Cinderella will be Melanie’s seventh pantomime and she is thrilled to be taking on the Fairy Godmother role this year: “Fairy Godmother is such a gentle introduction for the little ones into the world of panto. She is a safe character and always wears an amazing costume and that’s all part of the sensory experience for the audience along with the music and the smells and all the wonderful interaction. I hope everyone will come along to see some magic this year and I hope all their dreams come true this Christmas.”
Melanie’s fabulous Fairy Godmother will be joining Union J singer and reality TV star JJ Hamblett (The X Factor); BBC Radio Lancashire presenter and Grand panto legend Steve Royle; popular children’s TV presenter Olivia Birchenough (Milkshake!) and comedy duo Jamie Morris & Tarot Joseph as the incredibly gorgeous Ugly Sisters, alongside the Barbara Jackson Theatre Arts Centre dancers and the adorable Shetland Ponies in Cinderella’s charming tale of magic, mayhem and misunderstandings, live on the Grand Theatre’s famous stage. It’s a fantastic, fairytale treat for all the family this festive season!
Take a dazzling carriage ride to Blackpool’s beautiful Grand Theatre this Christmas and enjoy one of the most enchanting rags-to-riches fairy stories of them all. Cinderella is a timeless tale of romance, scheming step-sisters, spectacular spells and a gleaming lost glass slipper – all sprinkled with plenty of seasonal sparkle. This fun-packed pantomime features hit songs, spectacular sets, hilarious dance routines and sumptuous costumes – including the unmissable moment when Cinderella swaps her dowdy rags for her stunning ball gown and is transported to the Prince’s Ball. But – don‘t forget, she needs to be home by the stroke of midnight or her true identity will be revealed! Oh yes it will!
Cinderella is presented by Martin Dodd for UK Productions whom have been presenting the Christmas pantomime at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre since 2003. Other productions presented at The Grand by UK Productions include; Legally Blonde the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, The Kite Runner, 42nd Street, South Pacific, Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Anything Goes.
Cinderella plays at Blackpool Grand Theatre from Tuesday 5 December 2017 to Sunday 7 January 2018 starring celebrated stage and TV star Melanie Walters (Gavin & Stacey) as Fairy Godmother; Union J’s JJ Hamblett (The X Factor) as the dashing Prince Charming; BBC Radio Lancashire presenter and madcap comic Steve Royle as Buttons; popular children’s presenter Olivia Birchenough (Milkshake!) as Cinderella and hilarious double act Jamie Morris & Tarot Joseph as the Ugly Sisters.
Book your seats today, otherwise not even your Fairy Godmother will be able to magic you a ticket to see Blackpool’s must-see Christmas show… Tidy.
Tickets are available here or by calling the box office on 01253 290190.