Get ready for some Christmas cheer as pantomime returns to the London Palladium this December.
Julian Clary will lead an all-star cast on a magical trip to Pantoland at the Palladium, a celebration of the best of British panto at the home of pantomime.
Joining Clary will be panto favourites Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot, as well as past stars Ashley Banjo & Diversity and Charlie Stemp (Mary Poppins; Hello, Dolly, Dick Whittington). Making their debut will be West End sensations Beverley Knight (The Bodyguard; Memphis) and Jac Yarrow (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat).
The show promises an abundance of comedy and big show-stopping numbers and will feature a treasure-trove of The London Palladium panto past numbers with exciting and new surprises written especially for the show.
Pantoland at the Palladium will play to socially distanced audiences for three weeks only from 12 December 2020 until 3 January 2020.
The production has been made possible by a new initiative whereby The National Lottery will buy seats that need to remain empty for social distancing purposes but enables the production to be economically viable. It is expected that up to 250,000 tickets will be available to the general public, with more than 20,000 free tickets available for National Lottery players and the rest to go on sale.
This will generate vital income for theatres and help restore jobs – while providing much-needed cheer for panto lovers at Christmas.
Produced by the worlds leading pantomime company, Qdos Entertainment, the show will feature the work of Olivier Award-Winning Team director Michael Harrison, choreographer Karen Bruce, set designer Ian Westbrook, costume designer Hugh Durrant, lighting designer Ben Cracknell, sound designer Gareth Owen and composer and orchestrator Gary Hind.
Director and Producer Michael Harrison said:
“Pantoland at The Palladium promises to be a spectacular and exciting celebration of this wonderful art form that has been so devastated and decimated by COVID-19.
There is no doubt producing a show of this size and scale is a risk – but it is a risk we have to take. This is not a long term fix, nor a solution to the tragic situation our industry is in, it simply provides a sticking plaster on a very big theatrical wound as we hopefully prepare for full openings in 2021.
As well as bringing our wonderful audiences back, we want to play our part in the rehabilitation of London’s vibrant West End. The production is made possible by the sheer goodwill, determination and courage of so many people – thanks to them over 200 people will now have jobs over Christmas.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber, who owns The London Palladium via LW Theatre said:
“Christmas 2020 needs a Pantomime, and this one at The London Palladium has never meant so much to our industry and our audiences. LW Theatres operates as a not-for-profit and we are delighted that The National Lottery’s support will enable Qdos Entertainment and Producer/Director Michael Harrison to stage this socially distanced production at The London Palladium, alongside many others across the nation.
Chief Executive of LW Theatres, Rebecca Kane Burton said:
“After months of uncertainty, it is nothing short of a miracle that we shall, after all, be staging a panto at The London Palladium. We have worked tirelessly since our first pilot event in July to demonstrate that we can operate The London Palladium safely.
We have all the measures in place to ensure people feel safe, confident and, most importantly, excited to be back with us. Since our first shows in September, we have been blown away by the responses of our audiences. I can’t wait to see the panto lovers back with us for the joyful tradition of pantomime at The London Palladium.”
The London Palladium is an official government pilot venue, working to demonstrate that theatres can open and operate fully within the current coronavirus and social distancing guidance. Performances of Pantoland at The Palladium will run in accordance with a wide suite of health and safety measures (including reconfiguration of seating across the venue and the mandatory wearing of face coverings) that keep audiences, staff and crews safe.
Tickets are now on sale