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Dream Pantomime casting

London Palladium have confirmed their first panto, Cinderella in 29 years. The venue used to be synonymous with annual pantomimes from 1948-1987, with the last production 'Babes in the Wood' starring Dame Barbara Windsor and Cannon & Ball. It attracted names such as Cilla Black, Ronnie Corbett and Julie Andrews but in a world where most casting is soap stars and reality TV celebrities who would be the dream names to star in Cinderella?

Paul Merton

Known for his work with Comedy Store players and as a panellist on Have I got News for You, Merton isn’t new to pantomime; having appeared in ITV’s efforts between 1998 and 2002 but he is due a return as a campy dame or a wise cracking sidekick.

Sheridan Smith

Smith starred in TV drama ‘Panto!’ in 2012 with John Bishop but she would make a fabulous Cinderella (she’s completely versatile), especially if the rumoured Britney Spears is indisposed, if she can find the time amongst her busy schedule.

Helen Mirren

It would be a long awaited return to the stage since The Audience and she would make a glamorous wicked stepmother and could bring some Jane Tennyson hardness to the role.  

Lily Savage

Paul O’Grady’s creation would be the ultimate pantomime dame, if Paul was ever willing to don the wig and leopard print again, cheeky, sassy I wouldn't want to mess with this Wicked Stepmother. 

Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart

Far too busy with No Man’s Land but BFFs Ian and Patrick would make excellent Ugly Sisters. McKellen is no stranger to panto, playing Widow Twanky in the Old Vic 2004 production of Aladdin.

Tom Hardy and Idris Elba

This is from my own personal wish list as they are gorgeous but both have the cheeky charm to make a stunning pantomime appearance.  Cinderella always needs a Prince Charming and a Buttons, perhaps they could alternate?

Cinderella will run at the London Palladium for a limited Christmas season from 9 December to 15 January 2016.


Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.


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