Starring Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh & Pudsey, Jodie Prenger, CBeebies star Ben Faulks,
Tam Ryan and Eric Potts

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The countdown is on to the ultimate tail of wags to riches Dick Whittington – this year’s spectacular family pantomime at the Opera House, Manchester.


Starring as Alice Fitzwarren and her dog will be Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey – who won rave reviews for their panto debut in Woking last year. Appearing alongside them will be West End and television star Jodie Prenger as Fairy Bowbells, Ben Faulks (aka Mr Bloom from CBeebies) as Dick Whittington, Opera House panto favourite Tam Ryan as Idle Jack, panto dame extraordinaire Eric Potts as Sarah the Cook with Spamalot’s Samuel Holmes taking baddie duties as King Rat.

The run will include the first ‘relaxed performance’ of panto at the Opera House on January 2, 2014. A relaxed performance is aimed at anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment including people with an autistic spectrum condition, sensory and communication disorders or a learning disability. There are likely to be some small changes to the show, in terms of lighting and sound cues, but the overall content of the show will not change. There’s also a more relaxed attitude to noise in the auditorium, in order to reduce anxiety and ensure a safe, enjoyable theatre visit. Bookers will be sent a visual story (detailed information and photos), be invited to attend a familiarisation meeting in the theatre and there will be a designated ‘chill-out’ area for use during the performance.


Ashleigh and Pudsey, who were hailed by Simon Cowell as one of his ‘”favourite ever acts” made their pantomime debut to great acclaim in Woking last Christmas and will be reprising their roles of Alice Fitzwarren and her faithful pooch in Manchester, where they are set to delight audiences with their amazing routines and tricks.


Jodie Prenger shot to fame when she won the role of Nancy in the West End revival of Oliver! in the television talent show I’d Do Anything. Since playing Nancy she has played the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot in a national tour, Dolly in the National Theatre’s smash hit One Man Two Guvnors in the West End and on tour and has made numerous television appearances including Candy Cabs, Hustle and Waterloo Road.


BAFTA award nominee and Manchester Theatre Award winner Ben Faulks is best known for his role as Mr Bloom on the hit CBeebies show Mr Bloom’s Nursery, a hugely popular show that’s credited for helping to get a generation of youngsters interested in gardening. This will be Ben’s first pantomime.


Tam Ryan has become a firm favourite with Opera House audiences and critics alike and is back by popular demand for his fourth consecutive panto here, following his hugely popular performance as Smee in Peter Pan in 2012. Tam has worked in the entertainment industry for most of his life – with a host of TV, theatre, panto and cabaret credits to his name including Emmerdale, Waterloo Road, Phoenix Nights and Coronation Street.


Eric Potts – who won rave reviews at the Opera House in 2009 as Widow Twankey in Aladdin – is one of Britain’s best loved panto dames, appearing last year alongside Dame Edna Everage in Wimbledon. He is also known for playing baker Diggory Compton in Coronation Street and has also written the script for Dick Whittington.


Samuel Holmes played Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Spamalot (UK tour 2010/11) and has appeared as various roles in the show in the West End since among many other theatre and panto credits including The Pirates of Penzance, Half a Sixpence, Peter Pan and Aladdin.


This fantastic new production of Dick Whittington tells the rags to riches tale of a young man and his cat on an exciting quest for fame and fortune. Featuring all the traditional pantomime ingredients; sensational songs, a live band, dazzling dance routines, hilarious slapstick comedy and bags of audience participation, plus the magnificent sets and costumes the Opera House panto is famous for.


Listing Information

Dick Whittington

Friday 6 December 2013 – Sunday 5 January 2014

Opera House, Manchester

Tickets: £10 to £35 (concessions available)

0844 871 3018**

(Subject to booking/transaction fee)

Groups/Schools hotline:  0844 871 3038 (No booking fee. Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm)


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