It's not your average Monday Morning when you are invited to the launch of Britain's Biggest Pantomime! In truly spectacular style Birmingham Hippodrome and QDOS Entertainment invited the local press to their star studded event to welcome the celebrity cast of their Christmas Pantomime Production of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Birmingham Hippodrome certainly pulls out the stops with their biggest panto to date featuring famous faces from London's West End as well as A-List TV personalities!
This for me was a most magical morning seeing so many stars of stage and screen in one room - a really overwhelming experience. It is rare on a day to day basis you meet one famous face let alone seven!
As we waited for the arrival of the Principal cast we were invited into Snow White's colorful cottage - a really lovely stage set - complete with seven little beds, seven porridge bowls and spoons everything you would expect for a fairytale adventure. It has been many years since Snow White has been performed in Birmingham, yet this cottage seemed quite at home in the Hippodrome ready for its Christmas stay!
|Danielle Hope as Snow White|
It was announced at this morning's launch that 'BBC's Over the Rainbow' winner Danielle Hope would join the cast in the title role of 'Snow White' and this West End leading lady really looked the part of the Principal Girl. Having recently played the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Eponine in Les Miserables, Danielle swaps her Ruby Slippers for a Handsome Prince to join the star studded line up for her first Pantomime performance.
|John Partridge and Danielle Hope|
Joining Danielle for this year's production is former 'Over the Rainbow' judge John Partridge. Better known as Eastenders' Christian Clarke, Partridge is no stranger to Theatreland having amongst numerous West End roles just completed a run as Zach in 'A Chorus Line' at the London Palladium. At the launch John said '... it is an honour to be playing opposite Danielle Hope as her Handsome Prince...' and believes that A Birmingham Hippodrome Pantomime is the equivalent to a London Palladium Production!
Adding a touch of glamour to this year's pantomime is none other than stage, TV and film actress Stephanie Beecham as 'The Wicked Queen.' Most well known for her role of Sable in Dallas as well as other appearances in Tenko, Bad Girls and The Colbys, Beecham looked spectacularly sinister in a stunning red and black costume.
Joining the cast for his pantomime debut is Fashion Guru - Gok Wan, who I must say looked stunning in a silver sequinned number! This year Gok is playing 'The Man in the Mirror' and if today's interviews are anything to go by Birmingham audiences are in for a treat as he is absolutely hilarious! If this panto is as successful as his string of credits including the ever popular 'How to look Good Naked' it is sure to be a HIT!
One of Birmingham' audiences favourite stars Gary Wilmot dons the Bloomers for his debut production as Pantomime Dame and I must say he looked fabulous in a frock! No stranger to the stage, Wilmot has performed at the Hippodrome on various occasions playing roles including Buttons in Cinderella and Caractacus Potts in the phenomenon Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Also joining the cast are ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, and comedian Matt Slack who are playing the roles of 'Muddles' and 'Oddjob' respectively. Having seen Paul Zerdin and his ventriloquist buddy Sam in pantomime at the Wolverhampton Grand - he really is 'sidesplittingly' funny and I very much look forward to seeing him again onstage with his puppet pals. Matt Slack's previous credits include Boogie Nights and Blood Brothers and I am sure he will be a superb asset to this fantastic line up.
As you can imagine I am now feeling really festive and in the panto mood (Oh yes I am) and am so excited to see my first pantomime at the Birmingham Hippodrome. There really is no better family theatre experience than Pantomime and with tickets ranging from £12-£39 with discounts for concessions this is A-list affordable family fun!
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Thursday 19 December-Sunday 2nd February 2014. Book your tickets here!