Casting News: Amanda Holden Joins Strictly Limited Five Week London Palladium Run Of Cinderella As The Fairy Godmother
| By Jacob Porteous
Amanda Holden will play The Fairy Godmother in Qdos Entertainment’s London Palladium production of Cinderella. Cinderella will run at the London Palladium for five weeks only over the Festive season from Friday 9 December 2016 to Sunday 15 January 2017, with press night on Wednesday 14 December 2016.
Amanda Holden said: “I cannot wait to spread my Fairy Godmother dust over the festive season in this huge production at one of the most iconic theatres in the world. It's an absolute honour to have been asked. I'm very excited but nothing like my two girls who can't wait to watch their Mama fly!”
Holden joins the previously announced cast of Paul O’Grady as The Wicked Stepmother, Julian Clary as Dandini, Lee Mead as Prince Charming, Paul Zerdin as Buttons, Nigel Havers as Lord Chamberlain and Count Arthur Strong as Baron Hardup.
Cinderella, the most enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tale of them all will grace the stage of the West End’s most famous theatre this Christmas as pantomime returns to the London Palladium for the first time in nearly three decades.
Amanda Holden is an English television presenter, actress and singer, best known as a judge on ITV's Britain’s Got Talent since the show began in 2007. Holden has appeared in several stage musicals including playing the role of Princess Fiona in the West End premiere of Shrek and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the West End production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. As well as hosting This Morning, she has appeared in various British television series such as The Grimleys, Kiss Me Kate - a sitcom with Caroline Quentin, Hearts and Bones, Cutting It and with Harry Enfield in the comedy series Celeb.
Cinderella is produced by Nick Thomas and Michael Harrison for Qdos Entertainment. Directed by Michael Harrison and co-directed and choreographed by Andrew Wright, Cinderella is designed by Ian Westbrook with costume designs for Paul O’Grady and Julian Clary by Hugh Durrant. Lighting design is by Ben Cracknell with projections by Duncan Mclean, sound by Gareth Owen, musical supervision and orchestration by Gary Hind, musical direction by Greg Arrowsmith and visual special effects by The Twins FX.
Nick Thomas is the founder and Chairman of Qdos Entertainment Group. The business that he started in 1982 is now one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe. Aside from the company’s credentials in pantomime, it is the UK’s second largest regional theatre and concert hall operator, and employs 1,800 full time staff.
Michael Harrison has previously produced over 100 pantomimes for Qdos Entertainment where he is also Managing Director. He has directed 12 consecutive pantomimes at Newcastle Theatre Royal and 6 productions at Birmingham Hippodrome and as a producer in the West End his credits include Gypsy, The Bodyguard and Mrs Henderson Presents.
Award-winning Andrew Wright’s recent West End choreography credits include Mrs Henderson Presents, Singin’ In The Rain and Follies In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Regionally his many credits include Barnum, 42nd Street, Wonderful Town, Betty Blue Eyes, High Society and Saturday Night Fever. He has previously directed and choreographed the pantomimes Dick Whittington, Cinderella and Snow White.
Qdos Entertainment is the only pantomime producer to stage shows throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and this year will present 24 pantomimes. It is expected that over 1.6 million people will see a Qdos Entertainment pantomime this season. Over the past 34 years Qdos has produced over 650 pantomimes, establishing itself firmly not only as the UK’s true nationwide pantomime producer, but also the world’s biggest pantomime producer.
The London Palladium is a venue to which all performers aspire and has hosted more annual Royal Variety Performances than any other theatre. 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 Cliff Richard. In 1979 Yul Brynner arrived in a spectacular production of The King and I, which heralded further musicals in recent years including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver!, Saturday Night Fever, The King and I starring Elaine Paige, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Tommy Steele in Scrooge and Sinatra at the Palladium, the hugely successful revival of The Sound of Music, Sister Act, The Wizard of Oz, A Chorus Line, Barry Humphries' Farewell Tour and Cats. It has recently returned to its variety roots and is once again quickly becoming one of the most popular venues for leading musicians, performers and comedians. The London Palladium is owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatres Group.