This article originally appeared on London Theatre Direct on 9 May 2016 https://www.londontheatredirect.com/post/807/Cinderella–Dream-Pantomime-Casting.aspx
London Palladium confirmed their first panto, Cinderella in 29 years. The venue used to be was once synonymous with annual pantomimes from 1948-1987, with the last production ‘Babes in the Wood’ starring Dame Barbara Windsor and Cannon & Ball. It attracted names such as Cilla Black, Ronnie Corbett and Julie Andrews but in a world where most casting is soap stars and reality tv celebrities who would be the dream names to star in Cinderella.
Known for his work with Comedy Store players and as panellist on Have I got News for You Merton isn’t new to pantomime; having appeared in ITV’s efforts between 1998 and 2002 but he is due a return as a campy dame or a wise cracking sidekick.
Smith starred in TV drama ‘Panto!’ in 2012 with John Bishop but she would make a fabulous Cinderella(she’s completely versatile), especially if the rumoured Britney Spears is indisposed, if she can find the time amongst her busy schedule.
It would be a long awaited return to the stage since The Audience and she would make a glamorous wicked stepmother and could bring some Jane Tennyson hardness to the role.
Paul O’Grady’s creation would be the ultimate pantomime dame, if Paul was ever willing to don the wig and leopard print again, cheeky, sassy I wouldn’t want to mess with this Wicked Stepmother.
Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart
Far too busy with No Man’s Land but BFFs Ian and Patrick would make excellent Ugly Sisters. McKellen is no stranger to panto, playing Widow Twanky in the Old Vic 2004 production of Aladdin.
Tom Hardy and Idris Elba
This is from my own personal wish list as they are gorgeous but both have the cheeky charm to make a stunning pantomime appearance. Cinderella always needs a Prince Charming and a Buttons, perhaps they could alternate?