6 - 28 December 2013
Watford Palace Theatre presents
By Andrew Pollard
The villainous Sheriff of Nottingham wants to cancel Christmas. But never fear, for Robin Hood, Dame Nellie Nurse and all their friends are on the case...
Come and join us at the Palace for a proper family pantomime, with live musicians onstage, stunning sets and costumes, plenty of audience participation, and song, dance and slapstick performed straight from the heart by a talented company of first-rate actors, most of whom have performed in previous Palace pantomimes.
The perfect seasonal treat for everyone – but book now, many performances of last year's five star hit panto Mother Goose completely sold out!
Green Performances: £18 (conc £15.50), £16.00 (conc £13), £12.50 (conc £12.50)
Box (4 seats): £50
School groups: £10 (1 teacher free for every 10 students)
Groups 11+: £15, £12
Groups of 6–9: £15.50
Blue Performances: £20.50 (conc £18), £18.50 (conc £15.50), £14.50 (conc £14.50)
Groups 11+: £16.50, £14.50
Groups of 6–9: £18
Red Performances: £20.50 (conc £18.50), £19 (conc £17), £16 (conc £16)
Gold Performances: £22.50 (conc £20.50), £20 (conc £18), £17 (conc £17)
Click here to see the guide to performance colours
Bringing a group of 10+: Ask our sales team about pre-ordering ice creams and programmes
CHRISTMAS BOX: Boxes seat up to 4 people. Served in your Box: confectionery, one ice cream each, merchandise and two programmes. £120 per box (Gold, Blue and Red performances only).
A £1.50 card transaction fee will be added to each booking
|Sat 07||2.00pm / 7.00pm|
|Wed 11||10.30am / 2.00pm|
|Thu 12||10.30am / 2.00pm|
|Fri 13||1.30pm / 7.00pm|
|Sat 14||2.00pm / 6.00pm|
|Mon 16||10.30am / 2.00pm|
|Tue 17||10.30am / 2.00pm|
|Wed 18||10.30am / 2.00pm|
|Thu 19||1.30pm / 7.00pm|
|Fri 20||1.30pm / 7.00pm|
|Sat 21||2.00pm / 6.00pm|
|Mon 23||1.30pm / 6.00pm|
|Tue 24||11.30am / 3.00pm|
|Thu 26||2.00pm / 6.00pm|
|Fri 27||1.30pm / 6.00pm|
|Sat 28||1.30pm / 6.00pm|
Writer Andrew Pollard
Andrew is a writer and performer. He has written three stage adaptations of classic children's novels for Northern Broadsides Theatre Company: The Water Babies, Treasure Island and Heidi – A Goat's Tail (nominated for Best Children's Play in the T.M.A. Awards and the Adrienne Benham Award for Children's Theatre Writing). All three shows had Christmas residencies at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Heidi – A Goat's Tail was also staged at Bath Theatre Royal's children's theatre, The Egg, last Christmas.
Other family shows Andrew has been commissioned to write by the Stephen Joseph Theatre are: The Hunt for The Scroobious Pip (based on the nonsense writings of Edward Lear), The Nutcracker Prince, Cinderella and this year, Beauty and the Beast.
Andrew has a great passion for Pantomime, having appeared in pantomime productions every year for the past 16 years. He has written and played the Dame in eight pantomimes for Greenwich Theatre, London (this year will be his ninth). This is the third pantomime he's written for Watford Palace. He is also resident pantomime writer for Salisbury Playhouse and has written pantomimes for the Theatre Royal, Richmond.
Other works include: The Mad Hatter's Christmas Party, A Night at the Bijou and The Silent Comedian - all for Bath's Natural Theatre Company; Cross Purposes for Paines Plough/Bristol Old Vic and Laughing Gravy - a play about Stan Laurel for Zenith Theatre Company.
His sitcom, Spinnin' it, was a winner of HTV's 'Search for a Sitcom' competition and was subsequently broadcast.
Director Brigid Larmour
Brigid is Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre.
She directed last year's panto Mother Goose by Andrew Pollard. Other productions for the Palace include Gary Owen's acclaimed Perfect Match (part of the recent Ideal World season), We That Are Left and Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian; Equally Divided by Ronald Harwood; Charlotte Keatley's Our Father and My Mother Said I Never Should; Von Ribbentrop's Watch by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran; Alan Ayckbourn's Time of My Life and Absent Friends; Shakespeare's As You Like It.
Brigid is a producer, director, dramaturg and teacher with experience in the subsidised and commercial theatre and television. From 1998 to 2006 she was Artistic Director of West End company Act Productions, and adviser to BBC4 Plays. From 1993 to 1998 she directed a series of promenade Shakespeares, Shakespeare Unplugged, for RNT Education. From 1989 to 1994 she was Artistic Director of Contact Theatre, Manchester, commissioning the first British plays responding to the rave scene (Excess/XS), and the implications of virtual reality (Strange Attractors, a multimedia promenade production, by Manchester poet Kevin Fegan). She trained at the RSC, and as a studio director at Granada TV.
Designer Cleo Pettitt
Training: BA (hons) in Theatre Design and MA in Scenography, UCE Birmingham; Linbury Prize for Stage Design finalist, 1997.
Cleo is very happy to return to Watford after working on Mother Goose, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin and Cinderella here at the Palace. Other pantos include: Puss in Boots and Robin Hood (Greenwich Theatre); Beauty and the Beast, Robin Hood, Aladdin, and The Wizard of Oz (Elgiva Theatre) and Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Paul Robeson Theatre).
Other work includes: The Pirates of Penzance, The Sound of Music (Anchorage Opera, Alaska); Missing Persons (Trafalgar Studios); Boy in a Dress (Oval Theatre); Art (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds); The Ladies' Cage (Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester); Macbeth, Robin Hood, The Snow Queen (Creation Theatre, Oxford); Around the World in Eighty Days (Liverpool Playhouse); Facade (Birmingham Symphony Hall); The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Cyclops); The Scoop (South Bank); Company, The Wizard of Oz and Toad of Toad Hall (Palace Theatre, Westcliff); Quest for the Green Knight (Circus Tent, Clapham Common); Swollen Tongues (national tour); Trust Byron (Gate Theatre and tour); Joyisms (Looking Glass Theatre, Off-Broadway) and Hedda Gabler (RSC Fringe).
Cleo has designed many shows in Bermuda, including: South Pacific, The Producers, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oliver!, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls, Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, The Full Monty and Fiddler on the Roof. Productions in Dubai include: Fame, Blood Brothers, Woman in Black, Annie, High School Musical (1 and 2), Abigail's Party and The Sound of Music (Time Out Award: Best Musical), which transferred to Bahrain. In Canada, the opening two seasons for the Montgomery Theatre, Prince Edward Island, with works from Wilde to Coward and Shaw.
Opera: The Marriage of Figaro (Lyric, Hammersmith); Così fan tutte and Tosca (Christ's Hospital, Horsham); Simon Boccanegra and The Merry Widow (Bloomsbury Theatre) and Don Giovanni (Heaven, Charing Cross).
Lighting Designer Jenny Cane
Jenny is delighted to be returning to The Palace after lighting Our Father here last year.
She began work as a lighting designer for Charles Marowitz at The Open Space in London. Since then she has designed theatre, opera, musical and dance productions in the West End and throughout Britain as well as in Europe, North America and Australia. She has also held posts as Artistic Associate at Theatre Clwyd and as Lighting Manager for the English National Opera.
Her work in regional repertory theatre in Britain is extensive and includes over 30 productions at Haymarket Leicester. Many of her productions have been seen in the West End and she has worked for several major producers including Lord Lloyd-Webber and Cameron Mackintosh.
Jenny's special talent for music theatre is reflected in her designs for many Sondheim productions as well as major touring musicals such as Annie, Pirates of Penzance and Jolson (London, the provinces and abroad) and in 2010 she lit Sondheim's A Little Night Music starring Leslie Caron and Kristin Scott Thomas at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
Her lighting designs for Eugene Onegin were in repertoire for more than a decade at the English National Opera. She designed the lighting for The Magic Flute (Antwerp); A Night at the Chinese Opera and Die Fledermaus for Scottish Opera; and The Turn of The Screw (Macedonia), Orfeo and Euridice for Minnesota Opera. Most recently she designed, Les Contes D'Hoffmann in Toronto for the Canadian Opera Company.
Musical Director and Arranger Andy Ralls
Andy holds masters in both Musical Direction (Royal Academy of Music) and Composition (London College of Music).
Credits include: Mother Goose (Watford Palace Theatre, MD); Cabaret (2013 UK tour, Assistant MD/Keys 2/Accordion); Blood Brothers (UK tour, assistant MD/Keys 2); Jekyll and Hyde (UK tour, assistant MD/Keys 2); Evita (Keys 2, European tour); Don't Stop Believin' (UK tour, MD); The Musicals of Elton John (Royal Albert Hall, assistant MD); City of Angels (Royal Academy of Music, MD); A Little Night Music (Royal Academy of Music, assistant MD); Cabaret (2009 UK tour, Keys 3/assistant MD); Aladdin (Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man, MD); Scrooge (UK tour, assistant MD); Hotel Follies (Leicester Square Arts Theatre, MD); Lucky Nurse, Musical of Musicals (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, MD); Two's a Crowd (Nomads Theatre, Woking and Perfect Pitch Festival, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, MD); Enchanted [now Betwixt!] (Theatre Museum, Covent Garden, MD); High Society (Upstairs at the Gatehouse, associate MD); Company, Merrily We Roll Along, Guys and Dolls, Fame (Warwick Arts Centre, MD); Anything Goes (the Cooler, Coventry, MD); Dr Dolittle (UK tour, Keys 3); I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky (Theatre Royal Stratford East/Barbican, Keys 2) and Chelinot (workshop MD, Union Theatre). In 2013, Andy was MD for Fanatical, a new musical by Matt Board which came second in the 'Search for a Twitter Composer' competition at Soho Theatre. The judges thought the piece had potential and decided it should be taken through to a research and development project with Perfect Pitch in 2014.
Arrangements include: Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Royal Academy); A Celebration of Victorian Music Hall (Trafalgar Square); Best of the West End (St Andrews Church, Hove) and co-arranger for the Royal Academy's Agent Showcase 2010. Andy produced click tracks for Jekyll and Hyde (UK tour) and backing tracks for Precious Little Sleep (UK tour). In 2005 Andy won the BBC Concert Orchestra's Art of the Arranger.
Choreographer Kate Flatt
Kate trained at the Royal Ballet School. She began her career as assistant choreographer to Léonide Massine. She is a Churchill and Rayne fellow and a Royal Society of Arts Award winner. Her career currently spans ballet and contemporary dance, film, opera and musicals, including the original musical staging for Les Misérables at the RSC, in the West End and beyond.
Her choreography for Turandot was revived at the Royal Opera in September and has been screened worldwide. She has collaborated with Phyllida Lloyd on the award-winning Gloriana and Peter Grimes at Opera North. Other opera work includes Carmen at the Bastille, Orange and ENO; La Damnation de Faust (Châtelet, Paris); Betrothal in a Monastery (Glyndebourne); Carmelites and Verdi's Requiem (English National Opera) the recent Don Giovanni for Welsh National Opera.
Dance Theatre works include Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows, Soul Play and Songs from a Hotel Bedroom devised and directed in partnership with Watford Palace Theatre.
TV choreography includes: The Dancing Room, a co-devised work commissioned by BBC2, shortlisted for the IMZ Award in Lyons; and work on feature films includes Chaplin, Restoration and The Avengers.
Theatre work includes: Albert Speer, Power, Three Sisters, Dream Play and End of the Earth (National Theatre); Tis Pity She's a Whore, Doctor Faustus, Skellig, The Skin of Our Teeth (Young Vic); Hamlet (Old Vic); The Kreutzer Sonata (the Gate and New York); The Merchant of Venice (Korea); Fiddler on the Roof (Sheffield, West End) and Les Misérables (Reykjavik).
Kate teaches choreography at the Royal Ballet School and is Creative Associate of Watford Palace Theatre.
Fight Director Alison de Burgh
Alison was Britain's first ever female Fight Director. This year Alison set two new National archery Records with her Long Bow. She is currently Coach to the Royal Company of Archers (the Queen's Honorary Bodyguard in Scotland). Alison owns a narrow boat and spends her free time cruising the inland waterways of Britain.
Robin Hood is Alison's third show for the Palace, previously she worked on Our Brother David, and Von Ribbentrop's Watch.
Theatre includes: Strangers on a Train, The Prince of Denmark, What The Butler Saw, The Ladykillers, Private Lives, Speaking in Tongues; The Dumb Waiter; Peter Pan, Bent; The Plays The Thing; Donkey's Years; The Anniversary; As You Like It (West End); The Black Album; Harper Regan; Therese Raquin; Coram Boy; Pillars of the Community; Tales From the Vienna Woods (National Theatre); Gobbo and the Watchmaker (National Theatre of Scotland);The devil Inside him (National Theatre of Wales) A Mad World My Masters, Romeo and Juliet; The Penelopiad; As You Like It; A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC); The King and I (Royal Albert Hall); Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet; Under The Black Flag (Shakespeare's Globe); Woman Falling Over; Lady Boxers (National Theatre Studio); The Scottsboro Boys, The Changeling; The Beauty Queen Of Leenan, Container, Suss, (Young Vic); Snake in the Grass; A Trip to Scarborough, The Swing of Things (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); The Real Inspector hound, The Critic, (Chichester Festival Theatre); Peter Pan (Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh).
Opera includes: Don Giovanni, Knight Crew, Euryanthe (Glyndbourne Festival Opera). Cavelleria Rusticana, Pagliachi, Carmen, Tosca, Macbeth, (Opera Holland Park); Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicci (Greek National Opera); American Lulu, Varjak Paw (The Opera Group); Carousel, Romeo and Juliet; Don Giovanni (Opera North); Sweetness and Badness (Welsh National Opera); La Boheme (Scottish Opera); The Trojans at Carthage; The Handmaid's Tale; The Trojans; Lulu; Morning to Midnight (English National Opera).
TV includes: Lemon la vida loca, Maestro, The Hour, The Eleventh Hour.
Film includes: Use Your Energy Wisely, Being Othello, Mine, The Dark Room, Ghost Story, Stubborn and Spite, Four; Respect; Promises, Promises.
Sound Designer Daniel Frost
Daniel is the in-house technician at Watford Palace Theatre and was sound designer for last year's pantomime, Mother Goose.
He gained a degree in Applied Performing Arts from BCUC in 2005 and began working as an electrician at New Wimbledon Theatre in South London. Whilst there he worked on three pantomimes, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in various lighting-based roles, enjoying mostly the scenery drama as it unfolds on a busy stage.
Since joining the team at Watford Palace Theatre in 2008, Daniel has been lucky enough to be able to focus exclusively on sound for panto seasons, working as front of house engineer on Dick Whittington, Cinderella, Aladdin and Jack and the Beanstalk.
As well as providing technical support for many of the theatre's one-off events and cultural celebrations, Daniel has delivered sound designs for many Hertfordshire County Youth Theatre shows, including their recent production of Watership Down. In May 2012 Daniel had the pleasure of designing sound for the theatre's co-production of Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows, by the Palace Theatre's Creative Associate Kate Flatt, and in October, Daniel sound designed MummyJi Presents for the theatre's Resident Company, Rifco Arts.
Donovan Blackwood - Friar Tuck
Previous credits for Watford Palace Theatre: Mother Goose (2012), Aladdin (2010) and Cinderella (2009).
As well as appearances in the TV series Casualty and Judge John Deed, Donovan played the part of Brother Boxer in Amen Corner at the National Theatre earlier this year, directed by the newly appointed Artistic Director Rufus Norris, and was part of the smash hit No 1 UK Tour of Sister Act.
Other credits include the hit West End production Daddy Cool which successfully transferred to Berlin for ten weeks, and Up Against the Wall at the Bolton Octagon.
An accomplished vocalist he can be heard doing backing vocals on the albums of Lionel Ritchie, Tina Turner and James Morrison to name but a few. But he's also been busy writing and producing songs for his album This Time. He graduated from Westminster University in 2001 with a BA Honours in Commercial Music and in 2003 from ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) with a one year Post Graduate Diploma in Acting. In 2006 Donovan attained a Masters degree in Theatre Practices at Rose Bruford Drama College.
Philip Cox - Sheriff of Nottingham
Philip previously appeared in Watford Palace Theatre's Mother Goose (2012).
Philip's numerous theatre appearances have included West End runs of Les Misérables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Budgie and Hard Times, the national tour of Aspects of Love and Oklahoma! at the National Theatre.
Regional productions include Sweeney Todd (Theatr Clwyd); Assassins and Dick Whittington (Derby Playhouse); Paradise (Nottingham Playhouse); Communicating Doors (Perth Rep); The Glee Club (Manchester Library Theatre) and, most recently, the award-winning The Go-Between (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Derby Live/Northampton Theatres). He is also a regular and popular favourite in Opera della Luna's national touring productions of The Sorcerer, The Parson's Pirates, Die Fledermaus and HMS Pinafore. Television appearances include: EastEnders, London's Burning, Casualty 1909 and Coronation Street. Philip was also recently seen in (the film within the play) Travelling Light for the National Theatre, and as Fagain in Oliver! (Dubai).
Terence Frisch - Nurse Nellie
After last year's Mother Goose Terry is delighted to be back at the Palace as Nurse Nellie.
Previous pantomimes include: Jack & the Beanstalk, Aladdin, Cinderella, Dick Whittington, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Recent theatre credits include: Fawlty Towers, The Dining Experience (ITI); Noggin the Nog (ThirdParty); This Place Means (High Hearted); The Hit (Two Shoes and Cake); The Manual Oracle (Von Held); Nocturnal (RADA); One Snowy Night (Slot Machine); Jerusalem (Royal Court); The Lord of the Rings (Drury Lane); Romeo and Juliet (Globe); Oedipus (Actors of Dionysus); Educating Rita (Tour de Force); The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Royal Exchange); Richard III and The Changeling (both Third Party); Outside Edge (Mill at Sonning) and Wait Until Dark (Southwold).
Recent television credits include: Call the Midwife, Holby City and East Enders (all BBC); Harry Hill's TV Burp (Avalon) and Small Island (Ruby Films/BBC). Film credits include: Hugo (Scorsese).
Erica Guyatt - Little Joan
Erica trained at LAMDA. Her theatre credits include: Boeing Boeing (Vienna's English Theatre); Bugsy Malone (Future Cinema); The Black Diamond (Punchdrunk); All I want for Christmas (Jermyn Street Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Globe Theatre, Neuss); The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (The Dukes Lancaster); The Importance of being Earnest and Othello (RADA Enterprises); Tombstone Tales (Arcola); We All Fall Down (UK Tour); The Shelter (UK Tour); Top Girls (Royal Court). Her film credits include: Shanghai and The Video. Robin Hood is Erica's first production with Watford Palace Theatre. She is very excited about being a member of Robin's merry men this Christmas!
Jill McAusland - Maid Marion
Jill previously appeared in Watford Palace Theatre's Mother Goose (2012).
Jill trained at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. Her theatre credits include: Ghost Town – research & development (Pilot Theatre); On Reflection: Body Gossip Live (Purcell Room, Southbank Centre); Jumpy (Duke of York's, West End); Alice in Wonderland and Esme's Eggstraordinary Eggstravaganza (Northampton Royal Theatre); The Conspirators (Orange Tree Theatre); The Fumidor (Cotterell Theatre, Kingston International Youth Arts Festival for Pants on Fire Theatre Company); One Day - rehearsed reading (Made From Scratch, the Cockpit Theatre); Tits/Teeth (National Youth Theatre) and DNA (NT Connections, Brighton Dome).
Jill's most recent television credits appeared on television in Doctors and Holby City (BBC One).
Jill was a Carleton Hobbs team member in 2011.
Sheena Patel - Shirley the Soothsayer from Sheffield
Sheena previously appeared in Watford Palace Theatre's Mother Goose (2012) and in Break the Floorboards (Rifco Arts) (2013).
Sheena trained at Guildford School of Acting, where she graduated with a BA (hons) in Acting. Sheena's other theatre credits include: the role of Young Soraya and Shanti in Wah! Wah! Girls (Kneehigh Theatre and Sadler's Wells); Mrs Patel and ensemble in Britain's Got Bhangra remixed and remastered (Rifco Arts); Romonic (Soho Theatre); Vandella in Miss Lily Gets Boned (Finborough Theatre); Anita in Wuthering Heights (Tamasha Theatre/Lyric Hammersmith); Romeo in the City workshop (Theatre Centre); Mujra Girls workshop (Sadler's Wells); Hearts and Minds (Khayaal Theatre) and The Price (Walking Forward Theatre Company). Television includes: EastEnders, Holby City, Law & Order and Casualty. Sheena is thrilled to be playing the role of Shirley the Soothsayer from Sheffield in Watford Palace Theatre's production of Robin Hood.
Robert Rees - Robin Hood
Robert previously appeared in Watford Palace Theatre's Mother Goose (2012).
Robert trained at the Arts Educational School of Acting and the Royal Academy of Music, where he received the Graham Norton Scholarship. He originated the part of Andreas on the UK tour of Ladies in Lavender opposite Hayley Mills and Belinda Lang. It was his performance in this play that earned Robert a coveted Broadway World UK Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.
Other theatre credits include: The Governess (Theatre Royal Windsor); Fugitive Kind (Donmar Warehouse); All The Fun Of The Fair (Garrick Theatre); State Fair (Trafalgar Studios); Hobson's Choice (Broadway Theatre); Shakespeare Sonnet Walk directed by Mark Rylance (Globe Theatre); Godspell (Manchester Palace); The Full Monty (Charing Cross Theatre); Perchance to Dream (Finborough Theatre) and Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raving Queens (The Space).
Robert previously played the iconic role of Peter Pan for two years running at the New Wimbledon Theatre and the Bristol Hippodrome opposite David Hasselhoff as Captain Hook.
Robert's television credits include: the face of the O2 commercials as 'Brian the O2 Guru'.
He is delighted to be back for his second year in the Watford Palace pantomime alongside such a wonderful cast and crew.
Philip Cox in rehearsals
In rehearsals with Choreographer Kate Flatt
Robert Rees in rehearsals with Fight Director Alison de Burgh
Philip Cox, Jill McAusland & Robert Rees in rehearsals
Philip Cox & Robert Rees in rehearsals
"Watford Palace's panto is a clear cut winner... an all-singing, all-dancing belter of a show!" ★★★★★
Watford Observer on Mother Goose
Captioned performance: Friday 13 December, 7pm
Audio Described performance: Friday 20 December, 1.30pm
Interview with Terence Frisch
02 Dec 2013
Our panto Dame talks to the Watford Observer about his love of the Palace, frisky old dames, and Harry Hill... Read more