Strictly star for Hastings panto
Former Strictly Come Dancing pro Brendan Cole will lead the cast of this year’s White Rock Theatre pantomime adventure.
Brendan will be Robin Hood, alongside panto comic Ben Watson. Brendan and Ben will be joined on stage this Christmas by Frances Dee as Maid Marion.
White Rock Theatre director Gavin Shuman said: “Frances is no stranger to the stage and big panto roles, having previously played Beauty in Sleeping Beauty in Chelmsford and cast in London and national tours of the Bring It On Musical and the current production of Anything Goes at London’s Barbican.
“Our Robin, Brendan Cole, appeared on every season of Strictly Come Dancing since it began in 2004 up until 2017. His charismatic performances, stunning choreography and audacious exchanges with the Strictly judges all made for outstanding viewing and secured his position as one of the most popular dancers on the show. Brendan partnered some of the most successful celebrity contestants including presenter and actress Kelly Brook, supermodel Rachel Hunter and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
“As a dancer, producer and entertainer, Brendan has staged his own sell-out song and dance show on 11 nationwide tours of the UK, featuring song, dance and chat and a full orchestra.
“Now an international phenomenon, Brendan was a member of the judging panel of the New Zealand version of the series (Dancing with the Stars) for four years where his obvious expertise and forthright manner earned him the reputation of ‘the Simon Cowell of the judges.’
“The production will also see the return of much-loved comic Ben Watson as Will Scarlet. Ben is well-known to Hastings panto audiences having first appeared in the East Sussex pantomime in 2012.
“Alongside his pantomime appearances Ben also directs the White Rock Youth Theatre’s annual summer project. His other acting work includes touring his production The History Of Everything from which he created an online version during the 2020 lockdowns which was enjoyed by thousands of intrepid time-travellers from across the world.”
The show is produced by Daryl Back in partnership with HQ Theatres.
Daryl said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the very talented Brendan Cole will be playing Robin Hood for us. Brendan is a huge personality and I know will bring a lot of comedy to the production. And we simply couldn’t return after a year away from the stage without the amazing Ben Watson, who is so loved by our audiences in Hastings.
“Frances is amazing. She is one of the best principals I’ve ever worked with. She’s feisty, charismatic and a fabulous performer.”
Robin Hood runs at the White Rock Theatre from December 15-31 with individual tickets available from £21 and a money-saving family ticket for four people from £68.
Booking now open via whiterocktheatre.org.uk