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Arts of the UK 2020/21: Cinderella at Opera House Blackpool (Preview)


BLACKPOOL – The Winter Gardens Blackpool announced their partnership with West End Producer Mark Goucher (Hairspray, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) to bring Blackpool’s biggest ever family pantomime to the Opera House Blackpool next Christmas. Cinderella will play at the Opera House Blackpool from 13th December to 3rd January 2021. Tickets on sale now with star casting to be announced soon.

The Opera House has enjoyed years of Christmas musicals, but not since the production of Dick Whittington in 1956, has a family pantomime played at the Winter Gardens. To celebrate the return of pantomime to the venue, each performance will have over 100 tickets priced at just £10 providing unbelievable value and the opportunity for all to experience theatre at Christmas time.

Michael Williams, Managing Director of the Winter Gardens said “This is really exciting news for the venue and the people of Blackpool. After such a long absence we can’t wait to put on the best pantomime that the Opera House has ever seen. This large scale production of Cinderella will really put the magic into Christmas 2020!”

West End Producer, Mark Goucher said “After years of touring our first-class hit musicals Hairspray and Priscilla Queen of the Desert to Blackpool and entertaining sold out audiences across Christmas time with pantomime this year, this new partnership with the Winter Gardens will see Blackpool’s biggest family pantomime, focused on local references, topical jokes and above all – high quality production values and special effects all at affordable prices with recognisable faces from screen and stage!”

Cinderella is written by Samuel Holmes (Club Tropicana, Curtains, Shrek, Monty Python Live), Directed and Choreographed by Nick Winston (Annie, Club Tropicana, Fame, Royal Variety Performance), Musical Supervision & Arrangements by Charlie Ingles with designs by Phil R Daniels & Charles Cusick Smith, produced by Mark Goucher for Charming Pantomimes in association with Winter Gardens Blackpool.

Shirley Ballas (Strictly Come Dancing) will star as The Fairy Godmother. She is the only person ever to have won the British Open to the World Latin American Championships in Blackpool with two different partners and has won the title three times, having reached the final an impressive 17 times. She is a ten-time United States Latin American champion and the recipient of three Carl Alan Awards, the Oscars of the dance world. Shirley made her pantomime debut as Mother Nature in Jack and the Beanstalk in Liverpool, a role she reprised last year in Darlington. She was the subject of BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are? and is a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women.

Said Ballas: “I’m so thrilled to be coming home to Blackpool this Christmas.  I have made so many special memories there.  To be coming back to be part of the first pantomime there in over 60 years is such an honour.  I can’t wait!”

Michael Williams, Managing Director of the Winter Gardens said: “It’s great to be bringing a pantomime back to the Winter Gardens after such a long absence and the scale and quality of the production is set to be spectacular. After spending so many years dancing at the Winter Gardens, not to mention winning countless titles, to have Shirley cast in one of the lead roles is perfect.  We know that she will bring her own magic to the tale of Cinderella for thousands of families this Christmas and we are delighted to be welcoming her home. Tickets are already selling fast, so while Christmas feels far away at the moment, don’t delay as it’s set to be a real jewel in the crown of our 2020 programme.”

Audiences can expect jaw dropping special effects, a fabulous fairy, stunning costumes, some very wicked ugly sisters and a toe-tapping soundtrack of hit songs that will have everyone singing along. So, polish your pumpkins, dust off your gowns and grab your glass slippers to find out if Cinderella will go to the ball. Will she find her Prince Charming or will the Ugly Sisters ruin the day?

Cinderella will play at the Opera House Blackpool from 13th December 2020 to 3rd January 2021. Tickets available from their website here

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