A Brief History Of Pantomime At The London Palladium

By Emily Jenkins
Monday 30 May 2016

It was recently announced that this year the world of pantomime would once again enter the West End with a production of Cinderella at the London Palladium, so today I’m going to take a look at the history of ‘Palladium Pantomime’!

The first ever panto at the Palladium was ‘Dick Whittington and his Cat’ in 1914, and the following year (1915) the Palladium presented Cinderella for the first time. 101 years on, the Palladium will once again present Cinderella, but what has changed in the world of panto and Cinderella over the years? Since it’s first year in 1915, Cinderella has played at the Palladium as a pantomime 9 times, the last being 1985 - 2 years (and one panto) before the most recent Palladium Pantomime: Babes in the Wood in 1987. In these performances between 1915 and 1987, this fantastically fabulous bunch all starred in Cinderella at one point or another: Julie Andrews, Jon Pertwee, Ronnie Corbett, Des O’Connor, Tommy Trinder, Evelyn Laye, George & Bert Bernard, Max Bygraves, Terry Scott, Richard O’Sullivan, Brian Murphy, Dame Anna Neagle, Paul Nicholas, and speciality act The Adorable Tanya - a baby elephant!

Not only has Cinderella played a number of times at this iconic London venue; many other classic pantomimes have taken the limelight over the year, including Aladdin (6 times), Dick Whittington (6 times) and Babes in the Wood (4 times). There had only been 15 years where the has not been a pantomime at the Palladium, until 1987 when they stopped altogether. 

This year, Cinderella returns to the London Palladium with a star studded cast, including Paul O’Grady (The Wicked Stepmother), Julian Clary (Dandini), Lee Mead (Prince Charming), Paul Zerdin (Buttons), Nigel Havers as (Lord Chamberlain) and Count Arthur Strong (Baron Hardup). Cinderella at the London Palladium tickets are available now on!


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Emily Jenkins

It was in a school production of The Wizard of Oz, aged 7, that Em first discovered the buzz of performing. Since then, she hasn't stopped loving musical theatre; living close to London has given her the opportunity to see lots of West End shows over the years, fuelling her ever growing passion for all things theatre. This passion is what later prompted her to start her blog in early 2014, and what motivates her to keep blogging now!

Please note: Opinions expressed on the blog are those of the relevant contributors, not of London Theatre Direct Ltd, its owners or staff. London Theatre Direct Ltd is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by contributors.

More Cinderella blog posts

Cinderella: Dream Pantomime Casting Monday 09 May 2016
Panto Is Back At The Palladium! Tuesday 24 May 2016
Dream Pantomime casting Wednesday 02 November 2016
Pantomime at the London Palladium Tuesday 15 November 2016
REVIEW: Cinderella Pantomime Returns to London Palladium Wednesday 14 December 2016