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Chelmsford Theatre announces casting for 2023 pantomime

X Panto 23 Cast

Chelmsford Theatre has announced its casting for this year’s magical pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. The brilliant cast brings a mix of old and new faces to delight audiences this Christmas. 

Presenting a modern re-telling of a classic tale 

It’s Chelmsford Theatre and co-producer One From The Heart’s second production of Jack and the Beanstalk, having also staged the timeless tale in 2016.  

This year’s staging has a fantastic updated script authored by Simon Aylin, who has written scripts for Chelmsford Theatre pantos for more than 10 years. 

Producer Daryl Back of One From The Heart says the cast are getting ready for an exciting season: 

“With our talented cast confirmed, preparations are now in full swing for Jack and the Beanstalk.

“We have a real treat in store for audiences this year – a lavish set, outrageous costumes, topical jokes, and the latest music hits, from Dua Lipa to Miley Cyrus!

“With only eight weeks to go to opening, the whole cast and crew are hyped to bring a dazzling show to Chelmsford Theatre this Christmas.”

Daryl Back, Producer, One From The Heart

A cast of familiar faces and new talent 

Chelmsford Theatre’s annual panto is known for presenting a strong overall cast rather than relying on a single star name. This year’s line-up features a mix of experienced and new talent.   

Taking the title role of hero Jack in this year’s pantomime is up-and-coming actor Benjamin Durham. Benjamin recently graduated from ArtsEd and has since taken theatre roles in Winnie the Pooh and Young Frankenstein. 

Also new to the panto scene is Beth Scott as Jill. Beth is in her third year of training at Laine Theatre Arts, having graduated from the Dance School of Scotland in 2021. Last year she played Wendy in The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan at His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen. 

Chelmsford Theatre regulars may recognise Neil Bromley as the side-splitting Dame Trott. This is Neil’s fifth appearance as Chelmsford Theatre’s panto dame. Neil has toured the UK as a stand-up comic and has had multiple film and television appearances, including The Lost City of Z and Call the Midwife. 

Adam Shorey is the hopeless but well-meaning Silly Billy. Adam has worked extensively in theatre, including Singing in the Rain, Rapunzel the Musical, and pantos such as Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty. Audiences may also recognise Adam as Smee in Chelmsford Theatre’s 2019 production of Peter Pan.  

There’s also Pete Gallagher (Only Fools And Horses) as Giant Blunderbore’s devoted right-hand man, Fleshcreep; Sophie Camble (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella) as the demanding but fabulous Queen Fussy Butt; and West End and panto star Suzie Chard (Stepping Out) as the champion of good, Fairy Liquid. 

Fresh release of tickets for 2023 

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at Chelmsford Theatre from 1 December 2023 to 7 January 2024. The theatre has this month released further tickets for sale, so grab yours now to avoid missing out. 

Panto 2023

Tickets are available on the Chelmsford Theatre website. There is also a signed performance on 27 December, a captioned performance on 28 December, and a relaxed and signed performance on 29 December. 

Theatre director, Lee Henderson, highlights the importance of pantomime to UK theatre history and family traditions: 

“For many of us, it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the panto. It’s such an important annual family tradition that brings so much joy and magic and, for many, their first visit to a theatre. But it’s also so important to theatres – it’s the biggest event in our calendar, with 61 shows this year, and it’s an integral part of regional UK theatre history.

“With Christmas coming up fast, we urge all our panto fans to continue the tradition and book your seats for this giant adventure for all the family.”

Lee Henderson, Theatre Director, Chelmsford Theatre

More Christmas shows at Chelmsford Theatre

Chelmsford Theatre welcomes more festive shows this winter, including a delightfully sweet production of The Night Before Christmas from 15–24 December. This mischievous show for 3- to 8-year-olds features audience participation, Christmas songs and the enchanting presence of Santa Claus himself live on stage. 

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On 3 December, West End and television actor, John Elnaugh, recounts the timeless story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits of Christmas past, present and future in a one-man performance of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  

There’s also special screenings of André Rieu’s Maastrict Concert: White Christmas (2 December) and the Royal Opera House’s production of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent ballet, The Nutcracker (7 January). 

Find out more and book tickets on the Chelmsford Theatre website.

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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.