On the return of pantomime to the Palladium Qdos Entertainment Chairman Nick Thomas said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the exceptional response that our production of Cinderella has received – the show has now broken the Box Office record for the highest grossing week in the West End. We couldn’t resist Really Useful Theatres invitation to return to the iconic home of pantomime for a second year and look forward to revealing more about Dick Whittington and its cast in the New Year”.
Qdos Entertainment’s run of Cinderella, which opened earlier this month, continues at the Palladium until 15 January 2017. The production – directed by Michael Harrison and co-directed and choreographed by Andrew Wright – has a cast including Paul O’Grady as Baroness Hardup, Julian Clary as Dandini, Amanda Holden as The Fairy Godmother, Lee Mead as Prince Charming, Paul Zerdin as Buttons, Nigel Havers as Lord Chamberlain, Count Arthur Strong as Baron Hardup, Natasha J Barnes as Cinderella and Suzie Chard and Wendy Somerville as The Wicked Stepsisters.
As the world’s biggest pantomime producer, over the past 34 years Qdos Entertainment has established itself as one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe. Over the past three decades the pantomime giant, owned by Nick Thomas, has staged 649 pantomimes and this season expects over 1.6 million people will see one of its shows.
The London Palladium, owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatres Group, is a venue to which all performers aspire and has hosted more annual Royal Variety Performances than any other theatre. It has recently returned to its variety roots and is taking its rightful place as one of the most popular venues for leading musicians, performers, comedians and now Pantomime which returned this December after an absence of nearly 30 years. Designed by Frank Matcham it opened on Boxing Day 1910 and became famous, partly through television, as the “Ace Variety Theatre of the World”. Among the greats that have played here are Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, Howard Keel, Arthur Askey, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Tommy Steele, Julie Andrews, Ken Dodd, the Two Ronnies, Bruce Forsyth and Elton John. 1979 heralded the arrival of Yul Brynner in a spectacular production of The King and I with further lavish musicals to follow, most notably Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver!, Saturday Night Fever, The King and I starring Elaine Paige, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the hugely successful revival of The Sound of Music, Sister Act, The Wizard of Oz, A Chorus Line, Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour and the triumphant return of Cats. www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk
Tickets for Dick Whittington, which begins on 9 December 2017, are on sale now at www.DickWhittingtonPalladium.com
Further details about the production of Dick Whittington will be announced at a later date.