7 - 29 December 2012
A Watford Palace Theatre production
by Andrew Pollard
The much-loved traditional tale in which Mother Goose discovers that real happiness doesn’t come from riches or beauty, and that there is more to Priscilla the Goose than her ability to lay golden eggs - or win the Eggs-Factor!
We are delighted to welcome back local star Terence Frisch, following his fantastic performance as Dame Trott last year, in this brand-new show, packed with music, fun and laughter for everyone from five to eighty-five....
There’s nothing like the Palace Panto – a proper family pantomime with live musicians, witty storytelling, stunning sets and costumes, and heartfelt performances from first-rate actors, plus plenty of audience participation. It is the high point of our year, lovingly created for you here in Watford: pop along to the Palace for the ultimate Christmas treat!
Thank you to our sponsors: The Harlequin Watford and Imagine Estate Agents
Green Performances: £17.50 (conc £15), £15.50 (conc £12.50), £12 (conc £12)
Box (4 seats): £50
School groups: £9.50 (1 teacher free for every 10 students)
Groups 10+: £14.50, £11.50
Groups of 6–9: all tickets at concessionary price
Blue Performances: £20 (conc £17.50), £18 (conc £15), £14 (conc £14)
Groups 10+: £16, £14
Groups of 6–9: all tickets at concessionary price
Red Performances: £20 (conc £18), £18.50 (conc £16.50), £15.50 (conc £15.50)
Click here to see a timetable of performances
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 (Blue and Red performances only).
CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Thursday 20 December, 7pm
AUDIO DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday 22 December, 2:30pm
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, Heidi (nominated for "Best Children's Play" in the T.M.A. Awards 2009 and the Adrienne Benham Award for Children's Theatre Writing 2010) and Treasure Island, which have all had Christmas residencies at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre and The Stables Theatre, Milton Keynes.Other family shows commissioned by The Stephen Joseph are - The Hunt for The Scroobious Pip (based on the nonsense writings of Edward Lear) and The Nutcracker Prince - which will be staged there this Christmas. He has also written four shows for smaller children for the Green Room Theatre in Manchester.
British Pantomime is one of his great passions and he has appeared in Panto every year for 15 years. He has written and appeared as Dame in seven Pantomimes for Greenwich Theatre, London as well as writing the annual Panto for Richmond Theatre Royal - Britain's oldest surviving Georgian Theatre. Andrew is also a long time member of the Bath based Natural Theatre Company and has written and performed in three shows for them - The Mad Hatter's Christmas Party, A Night at the Bijou and The Silent Comedian.
Andrew was one of the winners of the Paines Plough/Bristol Old Vic writing competition with his comedy, Cross Purposes. This was subsequently staged at the Bristol Old Vic and then toured nationally. He also won HTV's 'Search for a sitcom" competition and his sitcom, 'Spinnin' it' set in a Launderette was subsequently filmed and broadcast.
Director Brigid Lamour
Brigid Larmour is Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre. She has directed for the Palace: Alan Ayckbourn's Time of My Life and Absent Friends, Gary Owen's We That Are Left and Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian, Shakespeare's As You Like It, Charlotte Keatley's My Mother Said I Never Should and Von Ribbentrop's Watch by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran.
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 98 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
Cleo returns to Watford Palace following remendously successful designs for Jack and the Beanstalk (2011) and Aladdin (2010).
Training: BA (hons) Theatre Design and MA Scenography, UCE Birmingham; Linbury Prize for Stage Design finalist, 1997.
Recent work includes: Missing Persons, Trafalgar Studios; Art, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds; Ladies' Cage, Royal Exchange Studio; Cinderella, Watford Palace; Around the World in 80 Days, Liverpool Playhouse; Company, The Wizard of Oz and Toad of Toad Hall, Palace Theatre, Westcliff; Swollen Tongues, national tour; Trust Byron, Gate Theatre and tour; Joyisms, Looking Glass Theatre, off-Broadway; Hedda Gabler, RSC Fringe.
Opera: The Marriage of Figaro, Lyric Hammersmith; Così fan tutte and Tosca, Christ's Hospital, Horsham; Simon Boccanegra and The Merry Widow, Bloomsbury Theatre. Cleo designs shows regularly in Bermuda and Dubai, including: Oliver!, The Full Monty, Dreamgirls, High School Musical (1 and 2), Fame! the Musical, Blood Brothers, The Woman in Black, Into the Woods and Annie. Also, many productions as resident designer in Anchorage, Alaska, and two seasons for Montgomery Theatre, Prince Edward Island, Canada. www.worldstage.co.uk
Lighting Designer Charlie Lucas
Charlie is eggstatic and eggcited to be lighting Mother Goose at Watford Palace, he has previously been responsible for lighting design at the Palace for Mummyji Presents and Von Ribbentrop's Watch. Charlie's other lighting designs include The Match Box (Liverpool Playhouse), The Magic Flute (Garsington Opera at West Green House), Walking the Tightrope (Arcola), Cautionary Tales (Opera North), Jealousy (The Print Room), Red Riding Hood (Theatre Royal Stratford East), One Hour and Eighteen Minutes (New Diorama Theatre), Red (Robin Howard Dance Theatre, The Place), Werther (Opera Les Azuriales, Nice), Snakes and Ladders (Brighton Pavilion Theatre), 1888 (Union Theatre), I am a Camera (Rosemary Branch Theatre), Nina & Shaz (Rich Mix and tour), sohostreets (Soho Theatre), The Elixir of Love (Blackheath Halls Opera), Finisterre (Theatre 503), The Slow Sword (Old Red Lion Theatre); and In Blood: The Bacchae (Arcola). Charlie trained at RADA on the specialist stage electrics and lighting design course.
Musical Director Andy Ralls
Andy holds masters in both Musical Direction (Royal Academy of Music) and Composition (London College of Music).
Credits include Blood Brothers (UK Tour, Ass. MD/Keys II), Jekyll & Hyde (UK Tour, Ass. D/Keys II), Evita (Keys II, European Tour), Don't Stop Believin' (UK Tour, MD), The Musicals of Elton John (Royal Albert Hall, Ass. MD), City of Angels (Royal Academy of Music, MD), A Little Night Music (Royal Academy of Music, Ass. MD), Cabaret (UK Tour, Keys III/Ass. MD), Aladdin (Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man, MD), Scrooge (UK Tour, Ass. MD), Hotel Follies (Leicester Square Arts Theatre, MD), Lucky Nurse, Musical of Musicals (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, MD), Two's A Crowd (Nomads Theatre, Woking & Perfect Pitch Festival, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, MD), Enchanted [now Betwixt!] (Theatre Museum, Covent Garden, MD), High Society (Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Assoc. 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 III), I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky (Theatre Royal Stratford East/Barbican, Keys II), Chelinot (Workshop MD, Union Theatre). He is also a regular rehearsal pianist for Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace).
Arrangements include Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Royal Academy), A Celebration of Victorian Music Hall (Trafalgar Square), Best of the West End (St. Andrew's Church, Hove), and co-arranger for the Royal Academy's Agent Showcase 2010. Andy produced click tracks for Jekyll & 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 is a Watford Palace Theatre Creative Associate and renowned choreographer. She trained at the Royal Ballet School and began her career as assistant choreographer to Léonide Massine. She is a Churchill Fellow, a Rayne 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 is frequently revived at the Royal Opera. She created the dances for Phyllida Lloyd's Gloriana and movement for Peter Grimes at Opera North. Other opera work includes productions of Carmen at the Bastille and in Orange; La Damnation De Faust at the Châtelet, Paris; Betrothal in a Monastery at Glyndebourne; Carmelites and Verdi's Requiem for English National Opera; many productions for Welsh National Opera.
Feature films include Chaplin, Restoration and The Avengers.
Theatre work includes Albert Speer, Power, Three Sisters, Dream Play and Ends of the Earth (National Theatre), 'Tis Pity she's a Whore, Dr Faustus, Skellig, The Skin of our Teeth (Young Vic) and Hamlet (Old Vic).
In 1995 she co-devised and choreographed The Dancing Room, a dance film for BBC2, short-listed for the IMZ Award in Lyons.
More recently Kate Flatt devised and directed UK tours of theatre-dance pieces The Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows, Soul Play and Songs from a Hotel Bedroom.
Kate teaches choreography at the Royal Ballet School.
Assistant Director James Williams
James is the Resident Director for the Participation department at the Palace Theatre. Recent works include Watership Down, There is a War, The Good Soul of Szechuan, Sleepy Hollow, The Trial and GARGANTUA. In 2008, his production of A Vampire Story was selected to perform at the National Theatre's Connections Festival. He also directed last year's community musical Hello, Mister Capello in partnership with Watford Football Club, featuring 70 local performers aged between 12 and 70. James is also a selector for RSC Open Stages, visiting productions across the South East. He has a BA (Hons) and an MA from The University of Sheffield and previously worked for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, The Scotsman, Trinity Guildhall, the National Student Drama Festival and as Arts Programmer for The University of Hull.
Terence Frisch - Mother Goose
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).
Amy Drew - Priscilla the Goose
Amy Drew grew up in Western Australia where she trained at the Terri Charlesworth School of Balletand the Graduate College of Dance before completing an Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
In 2002 Amy was a member of the winning ensemble at the RAD Competition in Perth and in 2003 she was a finalist in the Australian Institute of Classical Dance Awards. After graduating in 2004, Amy was invited to dance the Principal role of Odette/Odile in the Tasmanian Classical Ballet Company's Swan Lake.
Amy joined Ballet Ireland in mid-2005 and has since danced many diverse roles with the company including the 'Chosen One' (Rite of Spring), Adele (Die Fledermaus) and Salome (Salome). Since moving to London in 2008, Amy has performed with various companies around the UK including the Curve Foundation Dance Company and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
In 2010 Amy was a guest Principal Artist with Pasodos Dance Company in Mallorca where she performed the Grande Pas De Deux from The Nutcracker among other repertoire. Amy is now a member of the English Youth Ballet, where her repertoire includes, Odile in Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Myrtha in Giselle, Swanhilda in Coppelia and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Amy is extremely excited to be performing in her very first Pantomime at the Watford Palace Theatre!
Philip Cox - Beelzebub Baddegg
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).
Sheena Patel - Fairy Twitter
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.
Donovan Blackwood - Squire Dingle Dillydally
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.
Robert Rees - Billy Goose
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.
Jill McAusland - Milly Dillydally
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.
"Watford Palace's panto is a clear cut winner... an all-singing, all-dancing belter of a show!" ★★★★★
"It really is an eggcellent show... I loved every minute of it"
Leighton Buzzard Observer
"The show has unexpected depths as well as raucous, jolly entertainment... Highly recommended."
"With excellent music, a warm Watfordian atmosphere and plenty of heart, the Palace's 2012 panto is full of sparkle and a fitting conclusion to a fantastic year"
British Theatre Guide
"The show was great, very funny and engaging for all ages"
Bespoke pantomime workshops
Workshops introduces the characters from Mother Goose, and explore the traditions of pantomime using fun games and interactive drama activities.
Suitable for Key Stages 1 and 2.
To book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01923 810307.
Captioned Performance: Thursday 20 December, 7pm
Audio Described Performance: Saturday 22 December, 2:30pm