Ten Panto-tastic Years… Who will be this year’s stars?

8 February 2016

Ten Years of Panto at the Grove… But, who will be this year’s stars?

2016 will bring with it the tenth Christmas pantomime season to the Grove Theatre. Producers are currently working on casting for this year’s show, Aladdin, but it all began back in 2007…

The inaugural panto season at the Grove Theatre was Peter Pan, and legendary stage and screen actor Brian Blessed played the infamous Captain Hook. This was followed in 2008 by Snow White, with EastEnders actress Letitia Dean in the title role. The show held the box office record at the Grove until 2015.
In 2009 Nolan sister Bernie Nolan starred in Cinderella, and then in 2010 local star Faye Tozer, from 90s pop group Steps, appeared in the Grove’s first production of Aladdin.
Over the first four years of panto at the Grove, two puppets also dominated the line up, with Basil Brush and Sooty alternating in the Christmas shows.
In 2011 EastEnders’ actor Don Gilet was the panto villain in Jack And The Beanstalk, and in 2012 the baddie’s mantle was passed to Only Fools And Horses actress Sue Holderness, when she played the Wicked Queen in the Grove’s second production of Snow White.
Current producers Magic Beans arrived to produce the pantomime season in 2013, with EastEnders legend Leslie Grantham playing Dirty Rat in Dick Whittington, alongside Ryan Moloney from Neighbours, (as Idle Jack), and West End actor Leon Craig, (playing Dame). 2013 also marked the very first panto at the Grove to include a live band.
Fellow Neighbours star Alan Fletcher, who plays Doctor Karl Kennedy in the soap, was the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood in 2014, with Britain’s Got Talent star Steve Hewlett, the X Factor’s Andy Abraham, and 90s pop star Lolly all joining the line up.
In 2015, the tale of Cinderella returned to the Grove, and smashed all previous box office records and knocked 2008’s Snow White off the top spot, with Blue’s Antony Costa playing Price Charming. Among returnee’s were Dirty Den actor Leslie Grantham (frocking up to play ugly sister), and Jasette Amos (last seen as Dick Whittington’s fairy in 2013) as the Fairy Godmother.
So, Dunstable’s tenth cast have big panto shoes to fill. To find out who will be making the Grove Theatre’s dressing rooms their home-from-home this Christmas, follow Dunstable Panto on Facebook and Twitter!