Strictly sensation, comedian, King of pantomime and musical theatre star Brian Conley and celebrity style guru and television presenter Gok Wan are to star in the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes – Cinderella at The Bristol Hippodrome.
This spectacular show, supported locally by BAWA Healthcare and Leisure, is at The Bristol Hippodrome from Saturday, December 8, 2018, until Sunday, January 6, 2019. Jenny Hutchinson, Theatre Director said. ”Having Brian and Gok starring in Cinderella this year will delight Bristol audiences. Off the back of a great run last year with Aladdin, where over 75,000 people saw the show and with many customers saying it was the best panto they’d ever seen, I’m thrilled QDOS Entertainment have raised the bar even higher! Many of our customers have already booked their tickets in order not to miss out and therefore we would urge anyone else to book sooner rather than later as Christmas will soon be upon us!”
In a career spanning three decades, Brian Conley has appeared in award-winning West End musicals and television sitcoms, presented his own chat shows, recorded three albums and completed numerous sell-out tours of the UK. Most recently he was a contestant on the 15th series of BBC 1’s Strictly Come Dancing. Coupled with pro-dancer Amy Dowden, Brian was fifth to leave the competition, not before wowing the nation with his endearing dance routines and loveable personality.
On stage, he has starred as Edna Turnblad in the hit West End musical Hairspray and the title role in the UK tour of Barnum, previously at The Bristol Hippodrome.
Brian has completed a nationwide tour of Brother Love, celebrating the music of Neil Diamond, directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, starred in the nationwide tour of Oliver! playing Fagin, played the title role in Jolson, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award, and had leading roles in Me and My Girl, The Music Man and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He also embarked on his latest UK tour earlier this year, Still the Greatest Entertainer (in his Price Range).
And it has just been announced that Brian will be starring in Country legend Dolly Parton’s rollicking new West End show, 9 To 5 The Musical, alongside pop star and Strictly Come Dancing finalist, Louise Redknapp. The show will run at The Savoy Theatre, London for a strictly limited season from January 28, 2019.
Gok Wan will play The Fairy Gokmother, offering helpful style tips to The Ugly Sisters and creating the most magical ball gown in panto-land for Cinderella!
Cinderella marks Gok’s sixth pantomime appearance, the first of which was the subject of the Channel 4 documentary Gok Does Panto. Cinderella marks Gok and Brian’s fourth pantomime together.
Gok’s TV career started with the overwhelming success of his Channel 4 series, How To Look Good Naked, which proved so successful that a further six series were filmed, as well as three series of Gok’s Fashion Fix. Gok’s other recent TV credits include How To Cook Chinese, Gok’s Style Secrets, Gok Live: Stripping For Summer, Too Fat Too Young and Gok’s Teens: The Naked Truth. Gok is a regular guest presenter on ITV1’s This Morning and hosted ITV1’s Gok’s Lunchbox.
Lauren Hall will star as our beautiful heroine, Cinderella.
Lauren’s extensive theatre work includes Me and My Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre), Oklahoma! (BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall), Mrs Henderson Presents (Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Kilworth House) and Singin’ in the Rain (UK tour and Tokyo Theatre Orb, Japan). Lauren has also starred as Francine in Jersey Boys (Prince Edward Theatre), Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street (Chichester Festival Theatre), and Sharpay Evans in High School Musical 2 (UK tour).
This is Lauren’s ninth pantomime as principal girl for Qdos Entertainment.
Ugly Sister Ben Stock will be donning his best dress to perform in his hometown!
Bristol boy Ben is delighted to be in his hometown for his tenth year as an Ugly Sister for Qdos Entertainment. He first appeared at the Hippodrome as a Cub Scout in the 1987 Gang Show singing ‘Tomorrow’ from Annie.
In the West End, Ben has appeared in Grease, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dame Edna, The Spectacle and Over My Shoulder. On tour, his credits include Lumiere in Disney’s Beauty And The Beast and Noel Coward in Noel And Gertie.
In London, Ben has been seen in Noel And Gertie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Follow That Girl, while his regional work includes Cornelius in Hello Dolly, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Stepping Out, La Cage Aux Folles and Annie. He was also in The Tale Of Mr Tumble for the Manchester International Festival and Cbeebies.
Ben has two solo cabarets, which have played to sell-out audiences in New York, the Far East and across the UK. He is also a Music Hall regular and adds directing to his list of credentials.
Ben’s fellow Ugly Sister is played by Neal Wright.
Neal’s many theatre credits include Judah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Adelphi Theatre), Pepper in Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward), Cookson in Peter Pan (Royal Festival Hall), Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls (Sheffield Crucible), Wopsole and Wemmick in Great Expectations (Unicorn Theatre) and Yo-Less in Only You Can Save Mankind (Soho Laundry).
His television credits include appearing as CeeLo Green in Harry Hill’s Tea Time (CPL Productions/Sky), Dan The Van Man in Nuzzle and Scratch (BBC), and Mr Make It (The Foundation).
Neal has performed in many pantomimes over the years, in roles including Genie in Aladdin, Smee in Peter Pan, Gusty Gail in Cinderella, Dame Dottie Trot in Jack and the Beanstalk, Widow Twankey in Aladdin and Buttons in Cinderella.
Ben and Neal recently won the Great British Pantomime Award 2018 for their portrayal of the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella at Milton Keynes.
Bristol audiences shall go to the ball this Christmas as Cinderella transforms from rags to riches, outwits her very Ugly Sisters, and with the help of her hilarious friend Buttons and one very magical Fairy Godmother, wins the heart of the dashing Prince Charming.
Cinderella will feature all the ingredients of the perfect pantomime; a fabulous cast and orchestra, laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to enjoy.
Cinderella will once again be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer continuing their partnership with Hippodrome operators, ATG.
Michael Harrison, Managing Director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomime division said: “We are absolutely delighted to be back in Bristol this Christmas and thrilled that Brian and Gok will be leading the cast. Brian has won legions of new fans following his short-lived success on Strictly, and is the ultimate showman, and Gok is an absolute natural at pantomime, and both have a fantastic chemistry which delights audiences every festive season. Audiences will be in for a treat as they bring comedy, stunning vocals, fashion tips and plenty of surprises to the production packed full of music, dance, laughter and audience participation.”
The clock is ticking! Don’t miss your chance to see Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes. Book your tickets to the ball today!