MOTHER GOOSE Comes to The Marlowe
The production, which opens at the Canterbury venue on 28 November, marks Ben's 10th year in panto.
Dr Ranj (Billy Goose), from Medway, is one of the resident doctors on ITV's leading daytime series This Morning and is the co-creator and host of the BAFTA award-winning CBeebies series Get Well Soon. He is co-presenter of ITV's new prime-time series Save Money: Good Health and can regularly be seen on other programmes as wide-ranging as BBC's Pointless Celebrities; Inside Out; Celebrity Eggheads; Watchdog; ITV's Good Morning Britain and Tonight; Channel 5's Big Brother's Bit On The Side; and 5 News.
In 2018, Ranj swapped his scrubs for sequins as a Strictly Come Dancing contestant, partnered with Janette Manrara. The dancing duo then took part in the Strictly Live Tour.
Jenna will play Fairy Goodfeather. The Kent resident is best known for her role as Michelle Fowler in EastEnders. Her other television work includes Call The Midwife, The Paradise, Holby City, and Doctor Who. She has been a series regular on Born And Bred, On The Up' Picking Up The Pieces and Minder.
Her accolades include a 2007 Olivier Award for Sunday In The Park With George. She reprised her role on Broadway, where she won the 2008 Theatre World Award for Broadway Debut Performance. She also received a 2008 Tony Award nomination and 2008 Drama Desk nominations. She has received Olivier Award nominations for Merrily We Roll Along and Guys And Dolls. She was also long listed for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for Grey Gardens and Merrily We Roll Along.
Her other West End credits include Fun Home, Dr Faustus, Di, Viv and Rose, Mr Burns, Into The Woods, Amy's View, Follies, and Les Miserables.
Ben will take the title role of Mother Goose. He was awarded Dame Of The Year at The Great British Pantomime Awards for his role in Peter Pan in 2018 and was nominated for Best Ugly Sister for his role in Cinderella in 2018/19.
He is currently appearing at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, for the Royal Shakespeare Company in The Provoked Wife and Venice Preserved. He is producing Harrogate Theatre's autumn repertory season.
Ben has worked extensively in all areas of the profession, directing and producing various productions and appearing in more than 100 productions in theatres across the UK and beyond. His film work includes Innocent Crimes, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and Graham in the British comedy Patrick.
Lloyd will play Charlie in this, his ninth Marlowe pantomime. A Thanet native, Lloyd had variety in his blood from the age of 10, with his stage debut in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Margate. Since then he's entertained all over the world with his own unique and original style of comedy wordplay.
Lloyd regularly performs as a stand-up comedian for Warner Leisure Hotels and has recently performed worldwide on-board Marella, Princess and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. He's released two DVDs and sold out two nights at The Marlowe Studio with his latest show Live & Electric. As a writer, Lloyd has written for Stephen Mulhern for many years.
Cinderella writer, co-producer and director is Paul Hendy, of Evolution Productions. He said: "To have Dr Ranj at The Marlowe for his panto debut is absolutely fantastic and we are thrilled he's joined by the Olivier Award-winning, celebrated actress Jenna Russell, who's undoubtably going to delight audiences.
"Mother Goose is a classic pantomime, and a perfect fit for the brilliant Ben Roddy (one of the best dames in the country!) in his 10th year at The Marlowe. With the hilarious Lloyd Hollett also returning to The Marlowe, all of this superb cast have a strong Kent connection, which is terrific!
"Mother Goose is quite simply going to be our biggest and funniest panto yet, so don't miss it!"
The production is sponsored by Superior Healthcare and Walker Construction.
Mother Goose is at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, from Thursday 28 November to Sunday 12 January 2019. There will be captioned, BSL-interpreted, audio-described and relaxed performances. For more details of these, performance times and to book, go to marlowetheatre.com or call Box Office on 01227 787787.