Joan Collins will make her pantomime debut in the role of Queen Rat and lead a celebrated cast including Julian Clary, Nigel Havers and Keith Harris and Orville in the Christmas pantomime spectacular Dick Whittington at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Dec. 18, 2010-Jan. 30, 2011.
Michael Harrison, Managing Director of Qdos Entertainment's Pantomime Division which stages the Hippodrome show, added: "We are delighted that the 53rd annual pantomime at Birmingham Hippodrome will have such a fantastic line-up of stars. Panto is well and truly at home in Birmingham and Dick Whittington will be the biggest panto in the land this Christmas!"
Qdos Entertainment's Chairman Nick Thomas said: "We are thrilled to be welcoming Joan Collins to head the all-star cast at Birmingham Hippodrome, which we believe is the biggest line-up in any one panto since the iconic London Palladium pantomimes."
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive Birmingham Hippodrome, commented: "It's very exciting to confirm such a star-studded pantomime cast. Birmingham audiences really love their pantos and this is a real coup for the city - the news will be greeted with huge anticipation by our patrons. We are very much looking forward to welcoming Joan, Julian, Nigel, Keith (and, of course, Orville) to Birmingham this Christmas."
Joan Collins, multi-award-winning actress, best-selling author and columnist, is internationally known for her numerous roles in films and on television. She became an enormous hit for her role as the scheming Alexis in Dynasty, which now plays daily on CBS Drama. Her most recent TV appearances include Miss Marple, Footballer's Wives and Piers Morgan's Life Stories. On stage she has starred in many plays on Broadway and the West End, including Private Lives and The Last of Mrs. Cheney and her own one-woman show, An Evening with Joan Collins.
Julian Clary is one of the country's most recognisable entertainers. During his career he has turned his hand to comedy, acting, presenting, writing and he even performed as a novice dancer on Strictly Come Dancing, where he reached the final. As well as his autobiography, Julian has written two novels and has just completed a national tour of his one man show. Julian, who will play The Spirit of the Bells in Dick Whittington, has appeared in numerous record-breaking pantomimes around the country and last appeared at Birmingham Hippodrome in Cinderella in 2003.
Since December Nigel Havers has been playing the role of Lewis Archer in Coronation Street. Nigel, who plays the role of King Rat in the pantomime, has appeared on many television programmes including Lunch Monkeys, Little Britain, Brothers and Sisters, Sarah Jane Adventures, Dangerfield and The Charmer to name but a few. His numerous film roles include Empire of the Sun, A Passage to India and Chariots of Fire. Nigel's appearance at Birmingham Hippodrome in Rebecca in 2005 was one of the theatre's highest grossing weeks of drama ever recorded.
Keith Harris, who plays The Rat Catcher,is one of Britain's most inventive and talented performers and - together with his creations, Orville and Cuddles - has starred in every major theatre throughout the UK, including two pantomime seasons at the London Palladium and at the Dominion Theatre.
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