Jimmy Cricket’s marathon pantomime season is coming to an end (oh yes it is! sorry – ed).
The famous Irish comedian has been appearing in Cinderella at the Civic Theatre in Darlington since 3 December. Its last show is on Sunday (15 Jan).
Other celebrities alongside Jimmy, who plays Baron Hardup, include Dancing on Ice star Ray Quinn (Prince Charming) and and former Emmerdale actress Deena Payne (Fairy Godmother).
The pantomime has been praised in media circles with the British Theatre Guide saying:
“Michael Vivian’s script provides a faithful re-telling of the classic fairy tale; it is beautifully designed and costumed; there is a nice balance of pop hits and original songs, and the choreography is tight and slick.”
Jimmy and other panto stars agreed to take part in a special photo call to mark a toy giveaway for underprivileged children.
The event was sponsored by a local Darlington car dealership called Jennings Ford and also involved the Salvation Army.
Despite a busy schedule, Jimmy, Ray – who plays Prince Charming – and Deena (Fairy Godmother) took time out from the busy rehearsals to offer their support to the appeal.
Last year about 7,000 children and 2,000 families across the North East of England were supported with presents and a further 1,000 individuals received food over the Christmas period.
For the past 13 consecutive years, Jennings Motor Group has supported the appeal by using its branch network across the region as drop-off points for staff and members of the public.
Ray Riaz, general manager at Jennings Ford’s Yarm Road dealership in Stockton, said: “We were delighted that the cast of this year’s pantomime could help out with the appeal. The Salvation Army does an absolutely amazing job helping those in the local community, not just at Christmas time but all year round.”
Jimmy Cricket has begun rehearsing for his latest pantomime appearance.
The legendary comic is starring as Baron Hardup in Cinderella at Darlington Civic Theatre which runs from Saturday 3 December until Sunday 15 January 2012.
Dancing on Ice and X Factor star Ray Quinn (Prince Charming), Emmerdale’s Deena Payne (Fairy Godmother) and Grease musical actress Emma Stephens (Cinderella) are also appearing in the festive spectacular.
Performances are as follows: Matinees 2pm, evenings 7pm except Sundays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when evening performances will begin at 5.30pm. Prices are £13.50, £19 and £21, with discounts available at some performances.
Jimmy last appeared in the Darlingon theatre’s pantomime 21 years ago when it was also a version of Cinderella. Back in 1990 he played the role of Buttons.
The panto means it will be a very busy time of the year for Jimmy who said: “I am back home at the weekend and when we’re up and running with the actual show, I have every Sunday night and all day Monday off. Not to mention Crimble and New Year’s day!”
Join famous comedian Jimmy Cricket, his wife May and their good friend, singer Eric Devereaux, for another great night of all-round entertainment on Tuesday, November 1, at St Vincent’s RC Parish Centre, off Caldershaw Road in Norden.
Admission and refreshments (tea, coffee, juice and biscuits) are free, though it is appreciated if you make a contribution to a charity which is chosen on the night. It all starts at 7.30pm.
This will be Jimmy’s last appearance in his local monthly show for 2011 as he is off for panto rehearsals later in November, so he will want to make it a special one!
Jimmy is appearing in the Darlington Civic Theatre’s pantomime at Christmas as Baron Hardup in a version of Cinderella.
Jimmy Cricket will be appearing in the Darlington Civic Theatre’s pantomime at Christmas in a version of Cinderella.
This winter seasonal offering will feature Jimmy alongside “Dancing with Ice” sensation Ray Quinn and Deena Payne – who appeared on “Emmerdale” for 18 years.
Interestingly, this will be quite a return for Jimmy to Darlington. The last time he appeared in the Theatre’s Pantomime was 21 years ago and ironically it was also a version of Cinderella! Back then in 1990 he played the role of Buttons, although this year he is lined up for the part of Baron Hardup.
“That 1990 pantomime season was a real hoot!” says Jimmy. “The Chuckle Brothers were playing the part of the Brokers Men.”
Jimmy added: “Inbetween shows Barry Chuckle and I would go across to Crombies restaurant to have something to eat and Barry would pick up a salt cellar and say ‘to you, to me’ and have me in hysterics!”
Jimmy is thrilled to not only be back in Darlington and working with such a wonderful cast, he is also really pleased to be back working for QDOS Pantomimes. This is a company Jimmy believes puts enchantment into every single production that they do.