TV's Mr Tumble is coming back to Reading pantoBy Phil Creighton
February 16, 2011
It might be 10 months away, but CBeebies megastar Justin Fletcher wishes it could be Christmas every day.
The Bafta-winning actor and presenter, best-known for his alter-ego Mr Tumble, starred in Reading’s production of Sleeping Beauty last Christmas and he enjoyed the experience so much that he’s signed up to do it all over again.
This year, he will play Aladdin’s brother Wishee Washee in The Hexagon’s festive show which will once again be produced by Imagine Theatre.
Last year, more than 35,000 people saw Justin team up with Rainbow legend Jane Tucker and Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell for Sleeping Beauty, making it one of the biggest pantos staged at the theatre for years.
While the the town’s youngsters will be delighted that the star of Something Special and Gigglebiz will be coming back, Justin is just as thrilled.
“I had a brilliant time during Sleeping Beauty and was delighted when producers Imagine Theatre and The Hexagon invited me back,” he says.
“The whole team were so welcoming and the audience response was amazing. I can’t wait to get started.”
Plans are already well under way for Aladdin. Imagine Theatre, who are used to staging elaborate and spectacular traditional family pantomimes, have already started work on the show.
Steve Boden from Imagine, who returns to direct the pantomime for the second year, promises: “Our workshops and special effects department have already busy at work.
“Justin’s costumes are being made as we speak and, without giving too much away, this year’s show will feature flying carpets, a pantomime elephant, a sparkling cave and an incredibly messy slapstick routine guaranteed to feature more mess than last year.
“We are thrilled that Justin is returning and look forward to announcing further casting shortly.”
The Hexagon’s marketing manager Sarah Cox says: “Sleeping Beauty was so popular and we have received such massive feedback about the show and, in particular, Justin.
“We were delighted when he agreed to come back again
this year. We are already on sale and tickets are selling exceptionally well.”
To cope with the expected high demand, additional performances have been added to the run. The venue also recommends families with younger children should consider booking well in advance to secure the best seats.
For more details, call the box office on (0118) 960 6060 or log on to www.readingarts.com