De Montfort Hall and Imagine Theatre have announced that X Factor Winner Sam Bailey, A1’s Mark Read and comedian Jarred Christmas will join Scott Mills on stage in Jack and the Beanstalk from 15 December – 7 January.
Sam Bailey stole the hearts of the nation when she won the 10th series of ITV’s The X Factor in 2013. Her debut single, Skyscraper, reached Christmas number one and her debut album, The Power of Love, stormed to the top of the UK album charts in 2014, the same year she also performed as a support act for Beyonce’s UK tour.
Sam has since toured the UK a number of times and is no stranger to the stage. Apart from her numerous pantomime performances, Sam has appeared in Chicago, Fat Friends The Musical, The Vampires Rock Musical Tour, and, most recently, as Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast the Musical.
Sam, who will play Fairy Flutterby said “I’m so pleased to be back doing panto. It makes people so happy, and Christmas is my favourite time of year. I can’t wait to get back on that amazing stage at De Montfort Hall with all the cast. I’m going to laugh…A LOT.”
Joining as Jack is singer and songwriter Mark Read, best known as a member of the British-Norwegian band A1. In 1998 their debut single, Be The First To Believe, entered the UK Singles Chart at number six.
The band had a string of top-five hits, before hitting the number-one spot with their cover of A-ha’s classic, Take on Me. A1 went on to have many international hits, achieving great success in the UK and Europe, winning countless awards, including MTV, Smash Hits, and a Brit award.
To date, they have released seven albums and amassed record sales of nearly 10 million worldwide. Mark has written songs for a number of artists including Michael Bolton and Boyzone. He produced and co-wrote family musical, Noah a Musical Adventure, and toured in several shows, including six pantomimes.
Mark said: “I’m really excited to be working with Imagine and to be back in panto land which I love. It’s a really lovely, fun place to be at Christmas, it feels a bit like family and that’s what panto is all about. I love a physical, action-packed show, so can’t wait to get climbing that beanstalk!”
Comedian and Actor Jarred Christmas has gained fame for his appearances on TV shows like Mock the Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 8 out of 10 Cats, Russell Howard’s Good News, and Let’s Dance for Comic Relief over the years. Jarred will return again this year as Lazy Larry in what will be his third appearance in a De Montfort Hall panto.
Jarred adds: “I’m so pleased to be back in Leicester. This is my hat trick here in panto and it holds a really important place in my heart. I mean, there’s a cow, there’s a giant, there’s a load of action and a tonne of laughs. AND the cast is incredible so make sure you come along. Wall-to-wall good times.”
Scott Mills said of his fellow cast members: “How exciting to be treading the De Montfort Hall boards alongside Sam, Mark and Jarred for my stage debut. Teaming up with these guys feels like I’ve stumbled into the ultimate panto boot camp!”
Venue Director at De Montfort Hall, Antony Flint, said: “We’ve got a wonderful cast this year. A few familiar faces and some exciting new ones too. The cast and crew are sure to provide a classic De Montfort Hall panto, full of hit songs, comedy, family interaction – exactly what Leicester expects from us every Christmas!”
Tickets are priced from £15.25 (children) or £21.75 (adults) and can be purchased via the De Montfort Hall website www.demontforthall.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0116 233 3111.