For the first time, Olivier-Award winner Clive Rowe and Hackney panto veteran Tony Whittle will co-direct and star in Hackney Empire’s 2021 pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk which will run from 20 November to 2 January 2022.
Both making their 14th pantomime appearance, Grande Dame Clive Rowe will star as Dame Daisy Trott while Tony Whittle will play Councillor Higginbottom.
Tony and Clive have a theatrical connection spanning the last 20 years and are really looking forward to working together as co-directors of this year’s pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.
Troilus and Cressida at Regent’s Park for the New Shakespeare Company was their first job together in 1998, a far cry from the custard pie-filled world they find themselves in now.
Clive Rowe and Tony Whittle said: “We have a similar sense of humour and it is not uncommon for us to be in floods of tears making each other laugh, sometimes even on stage. We are both really looking forward to working with this new exciting pantomime team and having the best fun whilst creating a multi-generational, traditional Hackney pantomime.”
Full principal casting includes the legendary Kat B as Simple Simon, Zoe Curlett as Fenella Fleshcreep, Julie Jupp as Fairy Fusia, Ellie Ruiz Rodriguez as Jill Higginbottom, Rochelle Sherona as Jack Trot, Tony Whittle as Councillor Higginbottom and Clive Rowe as Dame Daisy Trott.
Yamin Choudury, Artistic Director, and Jo Hemmant, Executive Director, from Hackney Empire said: “We are over the moon at the thought that panto will be happening at Hackney Empire this year. Seeing our beautiful theatre full of our wonderful audiences and friends once again will be amazing. We look forward to welcoming you in true Hackney Empire style – Oh yes we do!”
Marking the 22nd pantomime at the East End venue, Jack and the Beanstalk which was previously scheduled to open in December 2020 will have a press night on Thursday 2nd December 2021. Tickets are on sale now from https://hackneyempire.co.uk/.
So, as only Hackney Empire can, Jack and the Beanstalk will get the festive season underway once more, with all the fun, magic, mischievous mayhem and razzle dazzle that Hackney audiences love and sadly missed last Christmas.
When happy-go-lucky Jack is tempted into selling his family’s beloved cow for a fistful of magic beans, he finds himself tangled in an adventure of epic proportions! Join Jack on his journey up an enchanted beanstalk as he tries to outwit a rampaging giant, all with the help of his larger-than-life mum.
This tall-tale is packed full of slapstick comedy, laugh-out-loud gags, stunning costumes, dazzling song and dance numbers and plenty of chances to cheer, boo and hiss. Hackney Empire’s pantomime has become one of the city’s most anticipated annual highlights bringing West End value at East End prices to attract an ever growing local, national and global fanbase.
Over 44,000 people attended the 2020 pantomime Dick Whittington and His Cat including 10,000 schoolchildren. 41% of the audience were first time visitors to Hackney Empire.