Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, and Nigel Havers Return to the London Palladium in DICK WHITTINGTON
Initial casting is announced today (20 April 2017) for Qdos Entertainment's London Palladium production of Dick Whittington. Following the success of Cinderella last year, the production will see the return of Julian Clary who will play Spirit of the Bells, Paul Zerdin as Idle Jack and Nigel Havers as Captain Nigel. Further casting and creative team will be announced shortly.
Dick Whittington will run at the London Palladium for five weeks only over the festive season from Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018, with press night on Wednesday 13 December 2017 at 7pm.
Dick Whittington is produced by Nick Thomas and Michael Harrison for Qdos Entertainment, the team behind last year's twice Olivier-nominated London Palladium production of Cinderella, which broke box office records for the highest grossing week in West End theatre history. Dick Whittington will be directed by Michael Harrison.
Julian Clary returns to the London Palladium following his triumphant success last Christmas as Dandini in Cinderella. Having begun his career as a camp comic thirty years ago, and despite the fervent wishes of the general public, he shows no signs of slowing down. His TV debut came in 1989 with ITV quiz show Trick or Treat and Channel 4's Sticky Moments. Julian Clary is a best-selling author, a regular panelist on Radio 4's Just a Minute and last year toured his one man show The Joy of Mincing.
Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin took the US by storm when he won America's Got Talent, which was swiftly followed by his own residency at the legendary Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Also a household name in the UK, Zerdin has appeared on The Royal Variety Performance no less than three times, was seen on Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show (BBC1) and last year appeared as Buttons in the London Palladium's Cinderella.
Nigel Havers is one of the country's best known actors thanks to his roles in Chariots of Fire, Passage to India, Empire of The Sun, Don't Wait Up and Man Child. More recently his credits include Coronation Street, Downton Abbey, the hit BBC4 series The Life of Rock, Stop/Start for BBC Comedy Playhouse and Benidorm. His numerous West End appearances include playing Serge in both the touring and London productions of Art. Subsequently he has appeared in hugely successful touring productions of Rebecca, Alan Bennett's Single Spies and Nick Fisher's comedy Basket Case, as well as several sell out seasons in pantomime. More recently Havers reprised the role of Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest both at the Harold Pinter Theatre and on UK Tour, and last year played the Lord Chamberlain in the London Palladium pantomime Cinderella.
Nick Thomas is the founder and Chairman of Qdos Entertainment Group. The business that he started in 1982 is now one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe. Aside from the company's credentials in pantomime, it is the UK's second largest regional theatre and concert hall operator, and employs 1,800 full time staff.
Michael Harrison has previously produced over 100 pantomimes for Qdos Entertainment where he is also Managing Director. He has directed 12 consecutive pantomimes at Newcastle Theatre Royal and 7 productions at Birmingham Hippodrome and as a producer in the West End his credits include Gypsy, The Bodyguard and forthcoming productions of Annie and Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.
As the world's biggest pantomime producer, over the past 35 years Qdos Entertainment has established itself as one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe. Over the past three decades the pantomime giant has staged 684 pantomimes and this season expects over two million people will see one of its shows.
The London Palladium, owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Theatres Group, is a venue to which all performers aspire and has hosted more annual Royal Variety Performances than any other theatre. It has recently returned to its variety roots and is taking its rightful place as one of the most popular venues for leading musicians, performers, comedians and now Pantomime which returned last December after an absence of nearly 30 years. Designed by Frank Matcham it opened on Boxing Day 1910 and became famous, partly through television, as the "Ace Variety Theatre of the World". Among the greats that have played here are Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, Howard Keel, Arthur Askey, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Tommy Steele, Julie Andrews, Ken Dodd, the Two Ronnies, Bruce Forsyth and Elton John. 1979 heralded the arrival of Yul Brynner in a spectacular production of The King and I with further lavish musicals to follow, most notably Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cameron Mackintosh's Oliver!, Saturday Night Fever, The King and I starring Elaine Paige, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the hugely successful revival of The Sound of Music, Sister Act, The Wizard of Oz, A Chorus Line, Barry Humphries' Farewell Tour and the triumphant return of Cats. www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk
Performances: Saturday 9 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 10 December 2017 1pm & 5pm, Tuesday 12 December 2017 7.30pm, Wednesday 13 December 2017 2.30pm & 7pm (Press Night), Thursday 14 December 2017 7.30pm, Friday 15 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Saturday 16 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 17 December 2017 1pm & 5pm, Tuesday 19 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Wednesday 20 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Thursday 21 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Friday 22 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Saturday 23 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 24 December 2017 11am & 4pm, Tuesday 26 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Wednesday 27 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Thursday 28 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Friday 29 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Saturday 30 December 2017 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 31 December 2017 11am & 4pm, Tuesday 2 January 2018 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Wednesday 3 January 2018 7.30pm, Thursday 4 January 2018 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Friday 5 January 2018 7.30pm, Saturday 6 January 2018 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 7 January 2018 1pm & 5pm, Tuesday 9 January 2018 7.30pm, Wednesday 10 January 2018 7.30pm, Thursday 11 January 2018 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Friday 12 January 2018 7.30pm, Saturday 13 January 2018 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 14 January 2018 1pm & 5pm
Photo credit for Julian Clary: Tony Briggs