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Published : 06/09/2012 00:00

Slice of Christmas comes early as Leeds gets into panto spirit

A sprinkling of Christmas spirit came early to Leeds this week with the launch of The Carriageworks festive pantomime.

The cast of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ made an appearance at Temple Newsam’s Home Farm to officially launch this year’s show which features ‘Ashes to Ashes’ star Marshall Lancaster and former CBBC presenter Jez Edwards who will be returning to The Carriageworks for the Paul Holman Associates production for a fourth consecutive year.

At the rare-breeds farm, the cast were given the chance to meet a real-life cow in the shape of ‘Fleur’, a 17-year-old Vaynol who is a star in her own right as one of only 25 of her breed to be found anywhere in the world.

Marshall Lancaster will be taking on the role of panto villain Fleshcreep in the show, following on from roles in the hugely successful television police series ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Ashes to Ashes’ as well as ‘Casualty’ and ‘Doctor Who’.

The 37-year-old from Macclesfield, who will be performing in Leeds for the first time in the show, said:

“I’ve not really been here before so I’m really looking forward to it. My first impressions are that it is a nice city to walk around with impressive architecture, so I’m hoping to get out and about while I’m here to see it and sample some of the restaurants and bars.

“I’ve not had a proper look round The Carriageworks yet but from speaking to people it is an intimate venue with the audience really close to the stage so that will be interesting. I’ve met the rest of the cast and everyone seems nice so it looks like we will have a good time so I’m looking forward to coming back for the rehearsals and getting into it.”

Returning to Leeds for a fourth consecutive Christmas pantomime at The Carriageworks is former CBBC presenter Jez Edwards, who said:

“I love Leeds, it’s a great city, I just hope people don’t get bored of me coming back for a fourth year.

“It’s the people here that make it so great. The whole vibe here at Christmas is lovely, with a real Christmas spirit generated with the German Market being outside [on Millennium Square]. My only disappointment last year was that there was no snow!

“My role this year is Simple Simon – so if anything I’m playing an even thicker character. I just hope I’m not getting typecast!

“This is going to be a great show, working with really nice people so the challenge is to do it to the same standard or even better than last year so I can’t wait for another Christmas in Leeds.”

Also appearing in the show produced by London-based pantomime experts Paul Holman Associates (PHA) at the Leeds City Council-managed theatre off Millennium Square will be Allan Jay (as Jack),  Barry North (Dame Trott) and Janine Pardo (Princess Amelia).

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“We are delighted to welcome Paul Holman and his team back to The Carriageworks for another year as they always put on a wonderful show to really get people of all ages into the Christmas spirit.

“We are very pleased to welcome Marshall Lancaster to Leeds and it is great to see Jez Edwards back again – he can’t seem to stay away which is a measure of how fantastic the city is especially at Christmas.”

Tickets are now available for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, which runs from Friday 30 November to Saturday 5 January 2013 at The Carriageworks theatre in Leeds, online at www.carriageworkstheatre.org.uk or by calling the box office on 0113 224 3801.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk