CHRISTMAS in York would not be complete without a family outing to the pantomime, reckons York Stage producer Nik Briggs.
No wonder he is excited to announce his company will be bringing a brand new professional staging of Jack And The Beanstalk to the city this winter, billed as “a panto made in York for the people of York”.
Running from December 11 2020 to January 3 2021 at Theatre @41 Monkgate, York, the 90-minute, Covid-secure show will feature Ian Stroughair, alias York’s international drag diva Velma Celli, in wicked mode in the cast of eight laden with West End talent from Yorkshire and the North East.
Nik says: “Join us this December for some magical Christmas entertainment as we present Jack And The Beanstalk in the Theatre @41 building in the heart of York on Monkgate.
“Our traditional family pantomime will be performed in a traverse setting in the John Cooper Studio, with the audience placed either side of a central stage with a capacity of 80 and no interval in the show.”
“Covid-secure safety measures will be in place and, for the first time at a York Stage show, Perspex safety screens will be placed between households and support bubbles so that our audiences can safely enjoy the show.”
Introducing his cast, Nik says: “We’re so excited to be bringing a sensational show to York this Christmas with the most exciting casting!”
Taking on the challenge of climbing the beanstalk will be West End actor Jordan Fox (from Kinky Boot, Friendsical, Beautiful) as Jack, who must take on the evil Flesh Creep, played by Ian Stroughair (Cats, Fame, Chicago and Rent, as well as award-winning drag vocalist Velma Celli).
Supporting Jack on his quest will be another York-born West End talent, Livvy Evans (Tina, Motown, Soho Cinders), as Fairy Mary and Alex Weatherhill (Chicago, All Male G&S) as Dame Trott.
York Stage are thrilled to be giving May Tether, a favourite of past York Stage Musicals shows, her first professional contract, playing Jill, following her graduation from London drama school Trinity Laban in July.
Completing the cast will be Matthew Ives (The Boyfriend, Closer to Heaven, La Cage Aux Folles); Emily Taylor (Great British Pantomime Award nominee and regular choreographer of the Grand Opera House pantomime) and Danielle Mullan, the North Easterner who captained the dance team in Berwick Kaler’s York Theatre Royal pantomimes for many years.
Looking forward to York Stage adding a new string to their bow after this summer’s open-air musical theatre concerts in Rowntree Park, Theatre@41 board chairman Alan Park says: “Christmas isn’t Christmas without panto. We’re delighted York Stage are taking full advantage of Theatre@41’s flexible space to ensure York families will still be able to safely enjoy a full all-singing and all-dancing pantomime.
“We can’t wait to welcome audiences back and for the building to echo with music and laughter again.”
Summing up what lies in store in Jack And The Beanstalk, Nik says: “With an exciting cast filled with West End talent, all born and bred in Yorkshire, and a creative team made up from those who brought shows such as Shrek, The Sound Of Music and Hairspray to York, audiences can be assured of a show of true panto magic!”
“Expect glitzy sets and costumes, a show filled with singing and dancing, lots of laughs and, of course, a huge beanstalk! Audiences can book now for a giant slice of traditional Christmas fun at one of the city’s most magical, bean-sized theatres for all the family!”
Tickets for the 40 performances are on sale at yorkstagepanto.com
Jack And The Beanstalk in a nutshell…
PANTOMIME: Jack And The Beanstalk, presented by York Stage Ltd.
WHERE: John Cooper Studio, Theatre @41, Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB.
WHEN: December 11 2020 to January 3 2021.
SHOW TIMES: Monday to Saturday, 2pm and 7pm; Sundays, 1pm and 6pm; Christmas Eve, 12 noon and 5pm; New Year’s Eve, 12 noon.
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes with no interval.
AUDIENCE CAPACITY: 80, seated in household/support bubble groupings only.
PRICE: Ranging from £20 to £27.
TICKETS: Available online only, via www.yorkstagepanto.com
Writer, director and producer for York Stage Ltd: NIK BRIGGS
Musical director: JESSICA DOUGLAS
Cast: JORDAN FOX as Jack; MAY TETHER as Jill; IAN STROUGHAIR as Flesh Creep; LIVVY EVANS as Fairy Mary; ALEX WEATHERHILL as Dame Trott; EMILY TAYLOR, MATTHEW IVES and DANIELLE MULLAN, Ensemble.