JW3 Announces London's First Ever Jewish Pantomime

Casting has also been announced for Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Pig

By: Sep. 21, 2023
JW3 Announces London's First Ever Jewish Pantomime

Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Pig, JW3’s first Jewish Pantomime, opens on Sunday 10 December 2023 – Sunday 7 January 2024.

Casting has now been announced.

From stage and screen to incredible acrobats and clowns, the Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Pig cast: in her first role as a Dame is Debbie Chazen as Mother Hoodman (West End: The Girls, The Duck House,Calendar Girls, TV: The Last Kingdom, Doctors nominated for Best Actress Soap Award);surrealist comedian with cult following Josh Glanc is The Big Bad Pig (multi-award award winning Australian comedian,Just For Laughs - O2 Arena); award winning actress Gemma Barnett is Red (The Beach House - Park Theatre, After the Lavoiya - Kiln Theatre, A Hundred Words for Snow - Trafalgar Studios, Offies Best Actress; also winner of the Poetry for Good prize, finalist of BBC Words First); clown and theatre maker Lauren Silver is The Wolf (Wilde Creatures - West End/Sydney Opera House, Beauty & the Beast: Rock & Roll Panto - Liverpool Everyman); international acrobat Tiago Fonseca – Bubbah, means Grandma, (multi-disciplinary circus artist: Bureau of Silly Ideas, Theatre Company 1927, Komischer Oper Berlin) + musicians Josh Middleton, Maxie Cheer and Anna Lowenstein.

It’s Chanukah, the Jewish festival of light, and Little Red Riding Hood’s village is in need of a new energy source, at an affordable price. Will Red bring home the bacon? Will the Big Bad Pig be pig headed? Is the Wolf misunderstood and not so full of wind? And will our Dame save the day with her own special wind?!

For the first time, two of the oldest and best-loved traditions, Pantomime and Jewish storytelling, are being brought together in JW3’s Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Pig = traditional Jewish Pantomime magic at its best, with classic panto favourites including: sloshing buckets, getting lost in the woods, panto baddies and the finale song sheet! The on stage live band and cast will be playing a multitude of traditional instruments from: accordion, guitar, trumpet, violin, drums, clarinet, Bulgarian bagpipe and Irish whistle and singing a mix of Jewish pop, rock and show songs in Klezmer style – but, with all new pantomime lyrics (by Nick Cassenbaum and Josh Middleton) including: Call Me Al - Paul Simon, You Spin Me Round - Pete Burns, Reviewing The Situation - Lionel Bart and Rehab - Amy Winehouse!

A brilliant young creative team has been brought together by Producer Becky Plotnek who says: “I’m totally thrilled to be at the helm of this project, producing JW3’s first ever pantomime, and the UK’s first ever professional Jewish pantomime. Whilst it's always been an inherent + integrated part of my culture, I grew up not engaging much with my Judaism. Two years ago, I felt a strong will to come back to it. At 27, I studied for and finally had my Bat Mitzvah. Now, as I return to my identity, it’s become such an important part of informing the world I work in. The whole team is full of bright talent and I’m delighted to be presenting Jewish joy on the JW3 stage - it feels like we’re all part of an historic moment.”

Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Pig is written with Jewish humour by Nick Cassenbaum (Bubble Schmeisis and regular collaborator with The Royal Court, Soho Theatre, JW3, Battersea Arts Centre); Director is the award-winning Abigail Anderson(Guildford Shakespeare Company, Harpy, The Snow Queen – Park Theatre, Dick Whittington – Chipping Norton); Musical Director Josh Middleton (DJ Vadim, Indecent – Menier, Puppet Theatre Barge); British/Australian Designer – Becky-Dee Trevenen (Strangers In Between - Kings Head Theatre/West End, Offie-winning production Tosca, Olivier-nominated La Boheme, Set Dressing The Burnt City – Punchdrunk and Designer Mentor for Punchdrunk Enrichment); multi-award-nominated Lighting Designer Jo Palmer (Split Britches’ UXO – Barbican, Offie nominations for both Beowulf: An Epic Panto and Rumpelstiltskin - Charles Court Opera; and Production Manager –Richard Williamson. The production is supported by the Arts Council England's National Lottery Project Grant and produced by Becky’s production company Plotnek Productions (Midgitte Bardot, DICE Festival) in association with JW3.

Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Pig runs at JW3 from Monday 10 December 2023 – Sunday 7 January 2024

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