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Dick Whittington at Birmingham Hippodrome

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Star-studded cast in big Christmas show
The stars shone at the launch of this year's blockbuster Birmingham Hippodrome pantomime, Dick Whittington, which opens on December 19.

Dick Whittington, Pantomime, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, John Barrowman, Jodie Prenger, The Krankies, Andrew Ryan, Matt Slack
Blockbuster: The Dick Whittington cast


Taking the title role is John Barrowman who is currently starring as Malcolm Merlyn, aka The Dark Archer, in the smash hit American TV series Arrow. He has also guested as the character in The Flash and is due to reprise the part in Legends of Tomorrow. On British TV John is best known for playing Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Dick Whittington, Pantomime, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, John Barrowman, Jodie Prenger, The Krankies, Andrew Ryan, Matt Slack
Dark Archer: John Barrowman prepares for pantomime


Dick Whittington will be John's third Birmingham Hippodrome pantomime. In the past he has teamed up with The Krankies for five panto seasons in Scotland but this year he and the Dynamic Duo are moving south for Christmas in Birmingham.

Dick Whittington, Pantomime, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, John Barrowman, Jodie Prenger, The Krankies, Andrew Ryan, Matt Slack
Dynamic duo: The legendary Krankies


Janette and Ian Tough (The Krankies) feature in Dick Whittington as the Alderman and Wee Jimmy. They previously headlined in Dick Whittington at the Hippodrome in 1982 alongside Billy Dainty and Paul Henry (Benny in Crossroads) in the first panto to use 3D technology.

Dick Whittington, Pantomime, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, John Barrowman, Jodie Prenger, The Krankies, Andrew Ryan, Matt Slack
Thumbs up: Matt Slack is Idle Jack


Comedian Matt Slack is Idle Jack in Dick Whittington, his fourth Hippodrome pantomime running. This year will mark his 17th panto for producer Qdos Entertainment. Matt turned professional after winning TV talent show Stairway to the Stars. Theatre variety shows and West End productions, including Blood Brothers, followed, while on TV he has appeared in Eastenders, The Musketeers and Law & Order UK.

Dick Whittington, Pantomime, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, John Barrowman, Jodie Prenger, The Krankies, Andrew Ryan, Matt Slack
Dame for a laugh: Andrew Ryan is Sarah the Cook


Another star returning to the Hippodrome after appearing in last year's Aladdin is Andrew Ryan as Sarah the Cook. He has been in an astonishing 30 pantomimes, playing the Dame for the last 25 years.

Dick Whittington, Pantomime, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, John Barrowman, Jodie Prenger, The Krankies, Andrew Ryan, Matt Slack
Double trouble: Andy Ryan and Jodie Prenger


Jodie Prenger takes the role of Fairy Bow Bells. The British public first discovered Jodie in TV talent contest I'd Do Anything when she landed the part of Nancy in the theatre production of Oliver!. She has since appeared in Spamalot, One Man Two Guvnors, Calamity Jane, Annie and Tell Me On A Sunday.

She joined John Barrowman on his 2010 and 2011 concert tours and duets with him on So Close, a track on his self-titled album.

The only Dick Whittington cast member missing at the launch was Steve McFadden who will be the dastardly King Rat. He was filming key scenes for Eastenders in which he is starring as hardman Phil Mitchell in a major storyline.

Pantomime director Michael Harrison says: ''Once again we are bringing together a sensational cast of talented performers for Birmingham Hippodrome's pantomime which, as always, will be a spectacle on a par with any West End show in terms of scale.''

Dick Whittington, Pantomime, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, John Barrowman, Jodie Prenger, The Krankies, Andrew Ryan, Matt Slack


Dick Whittington runs at Birmingham Hippodrome from December 19, 2016, till January 29, 2017. See here for more top Christmas shows in Birmingham.
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Why? Britain's biggest and brightest pantomime
When: December 19, 2016 - January 29, 2017
Phone: 0844 338 5000
Where: Birmingham Hippodrome
Cost: From 15.50 plus fees
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