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Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, the Stars Launch this Year's Giant of a Panto in Wolverhampton

The stars of this year’s Wolverhampton Grand pantomime proved it’s never too early to get into the panto spirit by launching this year’s giant of a show, Jack And The Beanstalk, which opens on Saturday 9 December 2017 starring returning favourites from last year’s award-winning production of Aladdin; Lisa Riley, Doreen Tipton, Ian Adams and Adam C Booth, with The Bill star Graham Cole joining them as the evil Fleshcreep, musical theatre actress Sarah Vaughan is the Princess and Julie Paton plays The Harp. Stars from this year’s cast came together at the Mount Hotel in Tettenhall to meet the press, pet Daisy the Cow and avoid a very hungry giant and talk all things panto.

Lisa Riley who captured the hearts of Wolverhampton as the Slave of the Ring in last year’s pantomime, Aladdin, is back for another panto season and will star as Mother Nature. Lisa is a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women and is known for playing Mandy Dingle in the ITV1 soap Emmerdale from 1995 to 2001. She more recently wowed viewers on the BBC1 series Strictly Come Dancing.

Lazy Black Country internet sensation Doreen Tipton has graciously accepted the workload in appearing alongside Lisa as the Trot family’s lazy next door neighbour, as long as Social Services don’t find out. The Black Country’s national treasure, Doreen’s original million hit YouTube viral success has now blossomed into a series of theatre tours, a full-length feature film featuring fellow Yam Yam and rock legend Robert Plant and Steve Bull, an autobiography (which somebody else had to write) her own BBC radio show, and even her own online comedy sketch channel called Doreen TV.

Ian Adams returns to the role of dame, asserting himself as a family favourite as Widow Twankey in last year’s pantomime, Aladdin. Ian wrote and performed in a production of Dick Whittington that was the very first pantomime to be presented inside London Zoo. Recently, Ian formed StarDam productions – a company who specialise in creating stage versions of popular children’s stories.

Adam C Booth who received great critical acclaim as Wishee Washee last year will play Jack’s brother Simple Simon. Adam is a regular on Keith Lemon’s Sketch Show. Adam’s other TV appearances include Keith Lemon’s Lemon La Vida Loca, Pearly Gates (BBC), Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. Adam’s roles in theatre include Pepper in the West End production of Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre, Les Misérables, West Side Story, Boogie Nights and Footloose.

Also on ‘The Bill’ comes a newcomer to the Grand panto family, Graham Cole. Graham is best-known as PC Tony Stamp in the much-loved ITV serial drama The Bill, a role he played for over 25 years from 1984 until the programme ended in 2009. In that time he detained thousands of criminals ensuring the streets of London were safe, but will be swapping good for bad, playing the role of the Giant’s henchman, the evil Fleshcreep in this year’s pantomime.

Joining them at the Jack And The Beanstalk launch is Sarah Vaughan who stars alongside them as the Princess. Having studied Music and Performance in her native Ireland, Sarah has regularly worked at home and abroad with roles including Young Sally in Follies, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Belle in A Christmas Carol and has appeared in pantomime for producers Qdos Entertainment numerous times, most recently starring as Cinderella in High Wycombe alongside Louie Spence and Linda Robson last year.

Lisa, Doreen, Ian, Adam, Sarah and Graham will join Pop Idol star Gareth Gates as Jack. Earlier this autumn Gareth met with Doreen Tipton and Ian Adams and got in the panto mood early by visiting show sponsors Dudley Zoo. Gareth is currently in Shanghai starring in the hit musical Footloose, fresh from a limited run in London’s West End.

This year’s panto will once again be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer and the same team behind the annual Grand panto for the last two decades.

Jack And The Beanstalk will be directed by David Janson, with Choreography by Julie Paton. The production’s Executive Producer is Michael Harrison, the man behind recent Wolverhampton Grand hit shows including Funny Girl, Annie and The Bodyguard.

Audiences shouldn’t wait any longer to secure their tickets to Wolverhampton’s giant of a panto. Jack And The Beanstalk, the giant pantomime spectacular from Saturday 9th December 2017.

The local sponsor for the pantomime is Dudley Zoological Gardens and the media partner is Free Radio.

Tickets are already on sale and can be booked in person, by phone on 01902 429212 or online at www.grandtheatre.co.uk.

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