“Heartbeat” star comes to town in magical pantomime adventure

“Heartbeat” star comes to town in magical pantomime adventure

Dick Whittington pantomime cast

Rotherham panto fans will have a festive treat when ITV Heartbeat’s David Lonsdale stars in the rags-to-riches fairy tale Dick Whittington.

Rotherham Civic Theatre in partnership with Imagine Theatres welcomes David to town for his performance as “Alderman Fitzwarren” in this year’s spectacular production.

The story of Dick Whittington follows the adventures of Dick and his feline friend Tommy the Cat as they travel to London where the streets are supposed to be paved with gold in the hope of seeking fame and fortune. Can they defeat King Rat and his plague of rodents? Will Dick Whittington win the heart of Alice Fitzwarren?

Originally from Southport, David is best known for playing David Stockwell in long-running television series Heartbeat. Having worked on two projects for Netflix and the BBC, he has made various appearances in Coronation Street, as well as Casualty and a small part in the 1997 hit film The Full Monty.

Rotherham Theatres Manager Jo Longworth said she’s delighted David is starring in this year’s family show which will be packed with music and dance, and full of fun, with some boos and hisses thrown in for good measure.

She added: “We’re thrilled to have David perform in Rotherham’s family pantomime. He is a seasoned performer from one of television’s best loved programmes and we warmly welcome his return to Yorkshire.

“After appearing in numerous pantomimes, he’s perfect for the role of good-natured merchant Alderman Fitzwarren. We cannot wait to see David performing on stage and he will be fabulous at getting the audience to join in!”

Joining David on stage as heroic Dick Whittington is Nathan Guy, who has performed in various pantomime productions and appeared in the show This Way Up at Hull Truck Theatre. Nathan trained in post-graduate acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Ashley Andrew will play Alice Fitzwarren, who has acted in roles continuously since graduating from Musical Theatre at Motherwell College in 2008.

This year’s panto dame Ian Hallard will bring laughter and slapstick comedy as Dame Sarah the Cook. Ian is familiar with South Yorkshire having studied at the University of Sheffield. He later achieved a post-graduate course at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Ian has starred in numerous theatre roles from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has also appeared in television shows Dr Who, Miss Marple, Sherlock and daytime series Doctors.

Huddersfield born Ann Micklethwaite will perform as Fairy Bow-Bells, and has appeared in television soap Emmerdale and in John Godber’s 2017 feature film Last Laugh.

This is the first time that Rotherham Theatres has worked in partnership with Imagine Theatre for their pantomime production.

A live band will perform a musical accompaniment to help bring the production to life.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner, Greener Communities Cllr Sarah Allen, said: “We’re very excited for the start of the pantomime season which looks to be the best one yet with the brilliant combination of a professional cast, live music and fabulous costumes. There will be lots of fun and laughter, and audience participation throughout this spectacular production. It will be a wonderful festive experience for Rotherham panto fans and we look forward to welcoming audiences of all ages to the Civic Theatre.”

The show runs from Friday 30 November 2018 until Sunday 6 January 2019. Tickets start from just £11.50.

Tickets for Dick Whittington pantomime are on sale now and can be purchased quickly and easily online at the Rotherham Theatres website.


Come Along to Rotherham Civic Theatre for a ‘Purrfect’ Family Panto This Christmas

Come Along to Rotherham Civic Theatre for a ‘Purrfect’ Family Panto This Christmas.

Dick Whittington pantomime cast

Rotherham Civic Theatre are delighted to announce that this year they will be working alongside Imagine Theatre, one of the country’s top pantomime producers, on the spectacular rags to riches panto adventure Dick Whittington.

The show will star former Heartbeat actor David Lonsdale as Alderman Fitzwarren with Ian Hallard as our Dame Sarah the Cook, Nathan Guy as Dick Whittington. They will be joined by Ann Micklethwaite as Fairy Bow Bells, Ashley Andrew as Alice Fitzwarren and Paul Stirrat as King Rat.

For David Lonsdale it will be a welcome return to Yorkshire where he worked for many years on the hugely popular Heartbeat and he is looking forward to his first appearance at Rotherham Civic Theatre. “I definitely need my yearly dose of silliness doing panto as in the last year I have worked on two TV projects for Netflix and the BBC, been the director of the Southport Festival, as well as selling my first radio play which I was delighted about.”

“Pantomime is a very special part of my life. I find myself completely immersed in it for two months each year and it completely takes over! The constant laughter and music has a lovely effect on me and I honestly wouldn’t give it up for the world. Laughing is so good for us, audience and actors alike, and it’s that continual jollity that I love most about doing the shows.”

Dame, Ian Hallard, is also looking forward to a return to Yorkshire having been to university in Sheffield. He says “I have friends who have done panto at the Civic before and they’ve told me how lovely the team at the theatre is, and how warm and welcoming the audiences are and as some of my university friends are still in the area they will be coming to see the show which will be lovely.”

“My favourite thing about playing Dame is the fabulous costumes – and Imagine Theatre’s wardrobe department have really pulled out the stops this year! Plus of course the interaction with the audience. As Dame, you probably get to be a bit cheekier than any other panto character, and the audience participation is really great!”

Nathan Guy will be taking on the role of the title character Dick Whittington who travels to London with his faithful sidekick Tommy the cat, to seek his fortune. Along the way in pure panto style he has to protect the city from an evil villain, King Rat, as well as falling in love with the beautiful Alice Fitzwarren. “I am delighted to be playing Dick Whittington. Up until now I’ve only played the comedy side kick in pantos but now I am so excited because I finally get to play the hero. What’s more I’m really looking forward to putting my own little goofy shine on it!”

“The most wonderful thing about panto is it’s at Christmas time, and everyone is in a fabulous mood so it’s an all-round joyful experience. I love singing, dancing, comedy, acting, storytelling, working with children and interacting with an audience. The audience is the most important part of panto, and as long as I can make sure that they feel a part of our story and the crazy fun, then I’m sure we are all going to have the best time.”

Steve Boden, Managing Director of Imagine Theatre, says “We are delighted to be bringing panto to Rotherham for the first time this year. We have a fabulous cast lined up most of whom we have worked with in the past but we are also delighted to welcome Ann Micklethwaite to the Imagine team this year. She is an absolutely fabulous performer and is going to be a brilliant Fairy Bow Bells.”

The show runs from Friday 30 November 2018 until Sunday 6 January 2019.

To book tickets call the box office on 01709 823621 or click here


Young Dancers Invited to Audition for The Rotherham Civic Panto

Young Dancers Invited to Audition for The Rotherham Civic Panto

Rotherham Civic Pantomime 2018/19

On Sunday 2 September Rotherham Civic Theatre will be holding open auditions for children to be part of the Junior Chorus in their magical family pantomime Dick Whittington.

The auditions are open to boys and girls aged 9-16 in school years 4-11 at the time of the production and those successful in obtaining a part in the show will be starring alongside former Heartbeat star David Lonsdale.

Steve Boden, Managing Director of Image Theatre who produce the show says, “This is our first year in Rotherham and we are delighted to be holding open auditions for the Junior Chorus as it is a great opportunity to get members of the local community involved in the show.”

“Performing in a professional production is a fabulous and rewarding opportunity for the children and is always a lot of fun, but it is also a big commitment and a lot of hard work.”

Full details on the auditions can be found here, as well as the application forms can be found here and at wwww.imaginetheatre.co.uk. Application forms do not need to be submitted in advance although where possible please complete them beforehand and bring with you to save time on audition day.

The show runs from Friday 30 November 2018 until Sunday 6 January 2019.

To book tickets call the box office on 01709 823621 or click here