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Gary Lamont, Elaine MacKenzie Ellis Join Cast of King's Theatre Glasgow's CINDERELLA

The King's Theatre Glasgow and First Family Entertainment have announced that River City star Gary Lamont and Rab C. Nesbitt actress Elaine MacKenzie Ellis will appear in this year's spell-binding production of Cinderella, alongside Gregor Fisher, Des Clarke and Tony Roper.

The pair also join Dumbarton's Josh Tevendale, whose credits include Avenue Q during its run at King's last year and Sweeny Todd, and musical theatre starlet Gillian Ford, who hails from Stirling.

Elaine MacKenzie Ellis will take on the role of the doting fairy godmother as Cinderella (Ford) tries to escape the wicked wrath of her awfy ugly stepsisters(Fisher, Roper). Fingers and toes crossed that she will find sanctuary in the arms of the dashing Prince Charming (Tevendale) with the help of her BFF and jovial jester, Buttons (Clarke) and the Prince's right-hand man, Dandini (Lamont).

The godmother of all pantos will be filled with all the usual King's style wit and charm, but this year is extra special as it sees one or two long-awaited reunions among the cast and an even a special anniversary celebration.

Gregor Fisher will of course be reuniting with his Rab C. Nesbitt co-star Tony Roper as they trade Rab's trademark string vest and Jamesie's shabby sports jacket for some fabulous frilly frocks when they set out to make Cinderella's life a misery.

Gregor Fisher said: "How wonderful it is to be working with Tony again.

"We'll be able to get up to our old tricks and give the audience a right good laugh."

Tony Roper echoed Gregor's comments, saying: "I'm sure we'll give Prince Charming a run for his money."

This year marks Des Clarke's fifth year anniversary at the King's panto, where he has become a firm favourite with adults and children alike. Des first treaded the boards in 2012 as Buttons in Cinderella, so it's extremely fitting that he marks this milestone by once again stepping into his boots.

He said: "I can't believe it's been five years since I first donned the coveted Button's costume, I hope it still fits!

"It's a privilege to be invited once again to star in the King's Theatre pantomime, a Glasgow institution that plays an integral part in the city's Christmas tradition.

"To follow in the footsteps of panto legends such as Stanley Baxter and the late great Gerard Kelly, and to star alongside comedy icons like Gregor Fisher and Tony Roper, is a real honour.

"Panto is a lot of hard work but when you hear the audience laugh and cheer, it's all worth it."

Elaine MacKenzie Ellis and Gillian Ford are also pleased to be back in each other's company after having previously appeared in a panto version of Cinderella, in exactly the same roles.

Elaine MacKenzie Ellis said: "I couldn't believe it when I found out Gillian had been cast as Cinderella.

"She's such a joy to work with and I know she'll make an adorable Cinders.

"And of course it will be great to be back with the Rab C. Nesbitt boys. What a hoot we'll all have!"

Gillian Ford said: "I can't believe I get to work with Elaine again.

"She was my fairy godmother in a panto in Motherwell a few years back and we had so much fun."

Gary Lamont, who will be making his first panto appearance at King's, will be sure to bring that extra bit of sparkle to the already dazzling cast.

Gary said: "Landing the role of the prince's right' hand man is a real honour.

"Get ready Glasgow, panto season is well and truly on its way."

And although the swoon-worthy Josh Tevendake hails from Scotland, most of his theatre work has taken place south of the border and so he is delighted to be spending the festive period at home.

A former Abercrombie and Fitch model, his charming good looks will stand him in great stead for his upcoming role, but he'll prove far more than just a bonnie face as he shows off his theatrical talents on stage.

He said: "I've graced the King's before while in puppet show Avenue Q but I can't wait to my teeth into a full five week run in my homeland for what is a coveted job among Scottish actors."

The rags to riches tale of Cinderella makes its tenth appearance in the history of the King's traditional pantomime from Friday 2 December 2016 until Sunday 8 January 2017.

As always, the jam-packed show will be brimming with sumptuous sets, fabulous fairytale costumes, big songs, engaging dance numbers, and riotous panto dames which are with a doubt going to be a hit with everyone in the family. It may still be summer, but the ticket-sales clock is ticking so don't delay and book your seats now!

Cast bios

Gregor Fisher is best known to TV audiences for the iconic title role in Rab C. Nesbitt.

Last year Gregor made his anticipated return to the King's panto stage as Hector the Henchman in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

2015 also welcomed his first book The Boy from Nowhere which explored his dramatic family history and inspired the BBC Documentary In Search of Gregor Fisher. This year the comedy actor is set to return to the big screen in the remake of the 1949 film Whisky Galore! starring alongside James Cosmo and Eddie Izzard.

Cinderella will mark 35 years since Gregor made his King's panto debut in Babes in the Wood sharing the stage with Rikki Fulton and Jack Milroy.

Popular Capital FM breakfast presenter Des Clarke is an established comedian who has performed all over the world including this year's Edinburgh Fringe, premiering his latest show Des Clarke: 3-D. Des also hosts the award winning BBC Radio Scotland show Breaking the News. Over the years he has proved a real crowd favourite as he continually works his "Des panto magic" on the audience's spirits.

Tony Roper is no stranger to playing the dame having already experienced the ugly step-sister makeover when he shared the King's stage with Jonathan Watson in 2000. His evil streak was resurrected while playing Hector the Henchman in Sleeping Beauty in 2011.

In addition to Tony's TV appearances in Scotch and Wry, Naked Video, Only an Excuse, The Bill and Taggart, he has successfully written and produced a number of plays including Paddies Market, Rikki and Me, The Celts in Seville and the BAFTA Scotland award-winning The Steamie, which later became a popular TV programme and a novelisation by Tony in 2005.

He also penned two bestselling novels about Rikki Fulton's character The Reverend I M Jolly: How I Found God and Why He Was Hiding From Me and One Deity at a Time Sweet Jesus.

Gary Lamont is best known for his portrayal of hairdresser Robbie Fraser in the soap opera River City. Glasgow born and bred, the actor has also appeared in the French war drama Joyeux Noel, Edinburgh crime drama Rebus and comedy Still Game as a barrister.

Elaine MacKenzie Ellis is also no stranger to the Scottish acting scene. She appeared in Rab C. Nesbitt as Natalie, Dash's girlfriend and soon became children's favourite taxi driver as she took her pink cab out for a spin in Glasgow as part of Cbeebies' Me Too. She also took on the role of Morag in the film-adaptation of Sunshine on Leith.

Dumbarton's Josh Tevendale attended the Dance School of Scotland and also gained a BA in Musical Theatre at Mountview Academy of Theatre arts. His credits include the puppeteer of Princeton in Avenue Q and Antony in Sweeny Todd.

Gillian Ford started her career in the children's TV series Yo Diary before training at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Gillian has since appeared on the West End, regional theatre and on the high seas. She was also a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Voice of Musical Theatre competition.

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