Brian Conley and Lesley Joseph, today weighed anchor and set sail for Britain's biggest pantomime at Birmingham Hippodrome. Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates runs at the UK's most popular theatre from Saturday 15 December 2012 to Sunday 27 January 2013.
Brian Conley, one of the country's best-loved all-round entertainers, makes a triumphant return to Birmingham Hippodrome following his role as Buttons in the acclaimed production of Cinderella last Christmas, and as Fagin in Oliver! earlier this year. This Christmas Brian Conley plays the lead role of Robinson Crusoe in his sixth pantomime at Birmingham Hippodrome. His other hugely successful roles in Birmingham include Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, and Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Brian is joined by television and stage actress Lesley Joseph in the role of The Enchantress of the Ocean. Lesley is most fondly remembered as the 'neighbour from hell' Dorien Green in the ratings-topping BBC sitcom Birds of a Feather, a role which she has recently reprised for a sell-out stage tour of the UK. Lesley last appeared in pantomime at Birmingham Hippodrome in the 1993/4 hit production of Dick Whittington.
Lesley has starred in numerous plays and musicals, in the West End and on tour, including Calendar Girls, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Annie, as well as countless television and radio programmes. On television she has appeared in Night and Day, What Not to Wear, My Bare Lady, Ready, Steady, Cook, and Celebrity Come Dine With Me as well as presenting reports for BBC Breakfast and GMTV.
Michael Harrison, Managing Director of Qdos Entertainment's pantomime division and Executive Producer of Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates, said:
"We are delighted that Brian and Lesley, two pre-eminent figures in the world of entertainment, will head the cast of Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates. Guaranteed to be another action-packed and must-see Birmingham Hippodrome pantomime, the show will feature an abundance of comedy, fabulous sets, and outrageous costumes and, as Birmingham Hippodrome audiences have come to expect, surprises galore along the way!"
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive, Birmingham Hippodrome added:
"We are thrilled to welcome back Brian Conley. He is one of the UK's most popular pantomime performers and has helped to make Birmingham Hippodrome the home of the traditional family pantomime. We particularly look forward to welcoming leading lady Lesley Joseph as The Enchantress of the Ocean in what will no doubt be another spectacular and memorable show."
Brian and Lesley were joined at today's launch by Solihull-born Kathryn Rooney as Polly, who played the role of Cinderella last year, and Andrew Ryan as Mrs Crusoe.
Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates is produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world's foremost pantomime producer, and staged by the same team that presented last year's critically-acclaimed, record-breaking Birmingham Hippodrome pantomime. Qdos Entertainment will stage 24 pantomimes around the UK this Christmas and its 2012/13 pantomime season is sponsored by Skype. Like pantomime, Skype is a family-oriented organisation and brings people together to share in special moments.
Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates runs at Birmingham Hippodrome from Saturday 15 December 2012 to Sunday 27 January 2013. Tickets are priced £14-£37.50 with a great range of discounts and concessions. Performance times vary, please enquire when booking. Patrons can select their own seat by booking online at www.birminghamhippodrome.com; or call 0844 338 5000 (calls charges vary from 5p per minute, 5% transaction charge applies).