Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Celebrities galore for panto time
It's that time of year when the tomfoolery, the gaudy costumes and the crazy fun of the panto season is upon us - oh no it isn't! (oh yes it is!)
Panto time is here - oh yes it is!
Here's a round-up of the best places to boo and hiss your way to hours of entertainment in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
Birmingham Hippodrome has a particularly special record-breaking history with pantomimes in recent years and it doesn't stop this year as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is set to be Britain's biggest panto.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Birmingham Hippodrome has a star-studded cast
Running from Thursday December 19, 2013 until Sunday February 2, 2014, it features a star-packed cast including How to Look Good Naked presenter Gok Wan (The Man in the Mirror), former Eastenders actor John Partridge (The Prince), Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham (The Wicked Queen), and comedian Gary Wilmot (The Dame).
While Snow White is played by Danielle Hope, who won TV reality show Over the Rainbow, and other members of the cast include ventriloquist Paul Zerdin adding comedy to the show as Muddles. The production company has however said that this version of Snow White will not feature dwarf actors but represent the seven dwarfs in an alternative way.
Michael Harrison, director of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, said: "It's a long time since Snow White was last performed at the Theatre and it seems fitting that its return as Britain's biggest pantomime should feature such an incredible cast. This brand-new production is set to be the most spectacular Birmingham has ever seen."
Wicked Queen Stephanie Beacham stars in Birmingham
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Tickets cost £12 - £39 from www.birminghamhippodrome.com or by calling 0844 338 5000. Group bookings can be made on 0844 338 7000 and hospitality bookings on 0844 338 9000.
Special performances: A 'relaxed performance' for children on the autism spectrum or with learning difficulties will be staged on Thursday January 30, 2014, at 1pm. Book tickets for this performance by calling 0844 338 5000.
Captioned performances take place on Sunday January 5, 2014, at 1pm and Wednesday January 8, 2014, at 7.15pm.
Sign language interpreted performances take place on Sunday January 12, 2014, at 1pm and 5.15pm.
Audio-described performances take place on Wednesday January 15 at 2pm and Saturday January 18 at 2.30pm.
WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE
Comedian Joe Pasquale brings plenty of laughter to Sleeping Beauty at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Saturday December 7, 2013, to Saturday January 18, 2014.
Joe Pasquale leads the cast of Sleeping Beauty at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
He plays Muddles in this extravagant, colourful fairytale, and is joined by cabaret star Ceri Dupree as Queen Passionella and former Coronation Street actress Lucy Evans as Princess Beauty.
Romance, spells and larger than life characters make it a memorable and fun visit for children and the young at heart. Pasquale is a particular draw as one of the most popular comedians on the theatre and panto circuit across the UK.