The Irish actor, currently starring in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre, wrote the script for the Norfolk theatre’s pantomime production which is set to run at the venue from 12th December 2015 to 2nd January 2016.
Musical theatre star Killian Donnelly made his West End debut as a swing in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, where he covered and played the roles of Enjolras, Javert and Valjean. He then joined the principal cast full-time as Enjolras. A constant stream of leading roles have come his way since he left Les Miserables four years ago, including playing Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre and Tony in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre. He has originated leading roles in three subsequent West End musicals, starring as Deco in The Commitments at the Palace Theatre, Huey in Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and his current role as Charlie in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre.
His off-stage credits include an extensive list of pantomimes written for various theatre companies. He wrote his first one at the age of 21, as a fundraiser for his am-dram company back in Ireland, and has written many more since then. He has written several pantos for the Solstice Theatre, Navan which were performed by St. Mary’s Musical Society (of which he is a former member), including Cinderella – starring his sister Eimear as Fairy Godmother – and Aladdin. He has also regularly created pantos for Cork Opera House, where he formerly appeared in the panto Babes In The Wood, and can count Jack and the Beanstalk (Olympia Theatre, Dublin) and the recent Sleeping Beauty (Liberty Hall Theatre, Eden Quay, Dublin) among his writing credits.
Cinderella marks the fourth panto Donnelly has scripted for the Sheringham Little Theatre. The partnership came about when the daughter of the Little Theatre’s director contacted him on Twitter after learning of his previous panto-writing experience. Already a fan having seen him as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, she approached him through the social media site about using one of his shows and ‘couldn’t believe it’ when he agreed. He wrote and directed his version of Jack and the Beanstalk for the Little Theatre’s 2012 Christmas season, and it has become something of an annual tradition now: he penned scripts for Snow White whilst starring in The Commitments in 2013, and Robin Hood whilst starring in Memphis in 2014.
Speaking about Donnelly’s panto for 2015, Cinderella director Nick Earnshaw said: “It is set firmly around the Christmas and New Year period, which we think works very well with the whole Cinderella story. Once again Killian has given us a very funny script, with all the comedy and wit you would expect from such a great writer, and plenty for audience members of all ages to enjoy.”
Debbie Thompson, director of the Little Theatre, added: “I am very excited about Cinderella – it is my favourite pantomime and I think is particularly special to a lot of other people too. We are thrilled to have one of Killian’s wonderful scripts again and know how much Christmas fun it will bring to our theatre and our audiences.”
Cinderella runs at the Sheringham Little Theatre from Saturday 12th December 2015 to Saturday 2nd January 2016.