Elaine Paige will join the cast of Pantoland at The Palladium for the three-week festive run beginning 12 December 2020, which sees pantomime return to the world-famous The London Palladium for a fifth consecutive year.
Paige, returning to The London Palladium having played Queen Rat in Dick Whittington in 2017, joins the previously announced panto favourites Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot, past stars Ashley Banjo & Diversity and Charlie Stemp and Palladium panto newcomers West End stars Beverley Knight and Jac Yarrow.
Multiple award-winning actor, recording artist, producer and broadcaster Elaine Paige will play Queen Rat. She has previously starred in more West End and Broadway musicals than anyone else of her generation – Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, Billy, Evita, Cats, Chess, Anything Goes, Piaf, Sunset Boulevard, The King & I, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Drowsy Chaperone and Follies.
Elaine Paige said: “I absolutely loved playing the evil Queen Rat in Dick Whittington a couple of years ago and can’t wait to be back on The London Palladium’s stage again this year, alongside Julian and the wonderful panto gang. Bringing theatre back to the West End is vital for our industry, which has been largely closed since March. I’m thrilled to play a part in helping theatre take its first steps towards full reopening in 2021. It’s time to escape the challenges around us all and give everyone a well-needed laugh!”
This production at The London Palladium has been made possible as a result of a creative initiative announced by The National Lottery last week which it hopes will enable hundreds of thousands of theatregoers to enjoy socially distanced pantomime this Christmas in theatres across the nation. The initiative will see The National Lottery buy seats that need to remain empty to enable social-distancing, complying with relevant government and public health guidance. By making it viable for theatres to open their doors to the general public, up to 250,000 tickets are expected to be available, with more than 20,000 free tickets available for National Lottery players and the rest to go on sale. This will generate vital income for theatres and help restore jobs – while providing much-needed cheer for panto lovers at Christmas.
Pantoland at The Palladium is the first of a number of productions at theatres across the country to be announced, with further venues to be confirmed in the coming weeks.