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Pantomime is back - oh yes, it is
Theatregoers in Birmingham will be able to enjoy the magic of pantomime early next year, with Robin Hood being staged at the Alexandra Theatre between January 15 and January 31, 2021.
The socially-distanced, one-act show stars Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood as The Sheriff of Nottingham and pantomime superstar Matt Slack as Robin Hood. The production is going ahead thanks to help from the National Lottery which is providing financial support for theatres to stage pantomimes.
Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the pantomime is moving for one year only to the Alexandra Theatre from its traditional home at Birmingham Hippodrome, which is hosting the acclaimedVan Gogh Alive exhibition.
Judge: Craig Revel Horwood
Craig Revel Horwood is a well-known face on television after being the judge we love to hate on all 18 series of BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing. In 2013, Craig wrote and directed Strictly Confidential that toured the UK, starring familiar faces from Strictly Come Dancing. He has also directed and choreographed the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour.
He recently returned to his roots as a performer in musical theatre, starring as Miss Hannigan in the West End and UK touring production of Annie. As well as choreographing and directing the UK tour of Sister Act and the Dusty Springfield musical, Son of a Preacher Man, he has published three autobiographies; All Balls and Glitter, Tales from the Dance Floor and In Strictest Confidence. This autumn he released his first novel, Dances and Dreams on Diamond Street.
Robin Hood marks his 12th consecutive pantomime for Qdos Entertainment, having starred as a Wicked Queen, a Wicked Stepmother and Captain Hook in Snow White, Cinderella and Peter Pan respectively.
Superstar: Matt Slack
Matt Slack is a panto institution, having appeared at festive shows at the Hippodrome for the past seven years. He has also appeared in Boogie Nights and Hot Flush on their UK tours, and in Blood Brothers in London's West End. His television credits include Casualty, Doctors, EastEnders and Law and Order: UK.
Icons: Richard Cardell and Sooty
Craig and Matt will be joined in Robin Hood by television icons Richard Cadell (as Will Scarlet) and his sidekick, Sooty. A star of TV, stage, comics, animation and movies, Sooty made his screen debut almost 70 years ago. With his original owner Harry Corbett (and later his son Matthew), Sooty became a regular on the BBC's Saturday Special, and fronted his own programmes, The Sooty Show and Sooty & Co. Richard has presented Sooty on stage and television for over 20 years following Matthew's retirement.
Tucking in: Doreen Tipton
Also on stage will be Black Country legend Doreen Tipton as Mrs Tuck, back for her second consecutive Hippodrome pantomime, following her star turn in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs last year. She will be joined by pantomime dame and Hippodrome regular Andrew Ryan and West End musical leading ladies Landi Oshinowo, Nicola Meehan and Lauren Chia.