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Green cake with wellies on it!

Jimmy Cricket was presented with an Irish-themed cake when he returned to perform at the Billingham Forum Theatre near MiddlesbroughJimmy Cricket was presented with an Irish-themed cake when he returned to perform at the Billingham Forum Theatre near Middlesbrough.

The famous Belfast-born entertainer appeared in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the North East theatre over the Christmas and New Year period. Sellout crowds watched the pantomime; in fact, the biggest attendances ever for a panto at the venue.

And as he arrived to perform again at the theatre at the start of April, he was greeted with a green cake with a pair of wellingtons on it – Jimmy is renowned in his acts for wearing wellies on the wrong feet!

The cake was made by Stockton resident Yasmin Calvert whose mum, Janet, went to the stage door of the theatre to hand it to Jimmy.Jimmy Cricket appeared in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the North East theatre over the Christmas and New Year period

Jimmy said: “I was overjoyed on receiving it as it’s one of the best that anyone has made for me. I was particularly impressed with the detail of the decoration and amazed at how it was produced all in green!

“A big thank you to Yasmin for the efforts she went to in making this culinary delight for me.”

His comedy show was a triumph as almost 400 people came to see Jimmy on his return.

He invited the Heritage Dance School to perform a  few numbers during the show and added: “I was  very pleased with their efforts as they slotted in really nicely.”

Jimmy pays tribute to panto team

The entire panto cast including Yvonne Patterson who took on the role of Wicked Queen and the dancers from the Stockton Heritage dance studio
The entire panto cast, including Yvonne Patterson who took on the role of Wicked Queen and the dancers from the Stockton Heritage dance studio
Jimmy Cricket with Malcolm Dixon, who played the head dwarf, and whose wife Anita was the production’s stage manager
Jimmy with Malcolm Dixon, who played the head dwarf, and whose wife Anita was the production’s stage manager

Famous funnyman Jimmy Cricket has been reflecting on the successful pantomime in which he starred over the festive season.

The Northern Irish entertainer played the comedy role of Muddles in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Billingham Forum Theatre near Middlesbrough.

Also in the cast was Emmerdale’s Kurtis Stacey (he plays Alex Moss in the soap) who featured in the role of the Wicked Henchman.

In total, a record 30,000 spectators came through the theatre’s doors to watch Jimmy and the cast over several weeks.

And it consistently had excellent reviews from people who see the show during the Christmas and New Year period.

Jimmy said: “I would like to pay tribute to the wonderful cast that had been assembled and express my gratitude to the excellent production team that put the show together led by producer Duggie Chapman.

Jimmy Cricket and Kurtis Stacey
Jimmy and Stacey

“I am also grateful to all the wonderful staff at the Forum Theatre under the watchful eye of manager Derek Cooper.”

He also acknowledges the fantastic cottage (scene photo below) he stayed at over the duration of the pantomime which was situated within Abbey Hill Cottages and is run by Paul, Smokey and Mary.

Jimmy liked the North East venue so much that he will bring his stand-up comedy show to the Forum Theatre on the afternoon of Sunday 6 April. To book tickets for Jimmy’s return visit with his comedy show, visit the theatre website here.

Jimmy Cricket stayed at a cottage in the countryside during the panto

Festive Liz gets Wellie award

Jimmy Cricket with marketing manager Liz CooperA lady who gave Jimmy Cricket and his panto colleagues a great Christmas send-off is the January winner of the Golden Wellie award.

Liz Cooper is the marking manager at the Forum Theatre in Billingham where the famous Northern Irish entertainer appeared in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs over the festive period.

Jimmy said: “Liz went above the call of duty on Christmas Eve and decorated with festive trimmings the dressings rooms occupied by the cast of the pantomime. She was ably abetted in this feat by her daughter.

“In 25 years of doing pantos across the UK, this is the first time that I have encountered the theatre’s staff going to the length of ensuring the cast have a Christmas send-off  and this special gesture certainly got everyone into the Christmas spirit.”

Jimmy, whose festively decorated panto dressing room is pictured below, was so impressed and grateful for what Liz had done that he wanted to acknowledge her efforts by awarding her the Golden Wellington (above).

Jimmy Cricket's panto dressing room

Returning to record-breaking venue

Cast members of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 7 December to 5 January at the Forum Theatre in Billingham
Cast members of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Jimmy Cricket is to return to the scene of his record-breaking pantomime.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs attracted sellout crowds – the biggest attendances ever for a panto at the Billingham Forum Theatre near Middlesbrough.

It consistently had excellent reviews from people who watched the show over the Christmas and New Year period.

Northern Irish funnyman Jimmy played the comedy role of Muddles in the festive production. Also in the cast was Emmerdale’s Kurtis Stacey (he plays Alex Moss in the soap) who featured in the role of the Wicked Henchman.

Jimmy liked the North East venue so much that he will bring his stand-up comedy show to the Forum Theatre on the afternoon of Sunday 6 April.

To book tickets for Jimmy’s return visit with his comedy show, visit the theatre website here.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was clearly loved by people who went to see it, with many positive comments being posted on the social media website, Twitter.

In addition to those included in previous stories in the Cricket Times section of this website, here are some more plaudits for Jimmy and co.

Vicki Taylor ‏@vickitaylor84
Fab panto at the forum jimmy was great 2nd time I’ve seen him!! @jimmy__cricket @kurtisstaceyKS good fox song!!

Kiana_Horan X ‏@HoranKianaMofo
@jimmy__cricket you were brilliant in Snow White xx

Katie ‏@Katies5SOS
@jimmy__cricket You were amazing on Saturday doing Snow White, such a laugh, hopefully see you next year :)

andrew purvis ‏@jillybear75
@jimmy__cricket the whole family came to see you today in panto and my son who is 5 couldn’t stop laughing at you!!

James ‏@captainjim74
@jimmy__cricket Saw u in Snow White today- me & my 5 year old boy cried laughing together at the same gags!great family show, thanks v much!

Jessica Playfor ‏@jessicaplayforX
@jimmy__cricket had me howlin tonight (despite been front row and practically on the stage ourself)

Jayne wilkins ‏@Jewilkinsboro
@jimmy__cricket @kazbradellie @joannemurphy33 watched you as a kid and laughed , just seen you at forum and laughed , c u on 6th April :) xx

Vickie Gatenby ‏@VickieGatenby
@jimmy__cricket “that cardigan thing”.. “It’s a jumper muddles ;)” haha.. Good show tonight!! Thanks for the high five!! :)

Graeme ‏@graemeblewis
@jimmy__cricket hey muddles!! great performance tonight in Snow White!! Family and I loved it!!

Chris Slasor ‏@theslasor
@victoriaholtom @jimmy__cricket you were fantastic in Snow White at Billingham Forum tonight! Well done, the whole cast were brilliant :)

Christmas card features stolen wellies

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas cardJimmy Cricket’s latest Christmas card is based on his concrete wellies which were stolen last summer.

And the specially designed card is the subject of a story in his local newspaper, the Rochdale Observer.

The concrete wellies, which had been given to Rochdale-based Jimmy as a 50th birthday present by fellow comedian Ken Dodd, were taken from his garden in Shawclough.

Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy is famous for wearing wellingtons, marked with the letters R and L on the wrong feet, during his acts.

He said at the time of the theft that the concrete wellies were of “high sentimental value”.

The BBC, ITV, the Rochdale Observer and several radio stations were among many media organisations to report on the crime.

Saturday’s edition (21 December) of the Observer features Jimmy’s 2013 Christmas card (above right) which has him appealing to Santa Claus to retrieve his wellies and put them under his Christmas tree on the big day (see image below).

The Belfast-born funnyman used the inspiration of London 2012 when it came to designing last year’s Christmas card, which featured Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.

* Jimmy, who is currently appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Forum Theatre in Billingham near Middlesbrough, wishes everybody a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Jimmy Cricket's Christmas card which features in the Rochdale Observer

And there’s more…

Photo from the panto rehearsals weekMore plaudits have been handed to Jimmy Cricket and his fellow cast members who are appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Forum Theatre in Billingham near Middlesbrough.

The famous funnyman plays Muddles, while Kurtis Stacey (who plays Alex Moss in ITV’s Emmerdale) is the Wicked Henchman in the traditional festive family pantomime.Photo from the panto rehearsals week

There have been more messages on Twitter, the social media website, with people saying how much they have enjoyed the panto – which runs until Sunday, 5 January –  and here are two of the latest:

Kidsreadwritereview ‏@kidsrwreview: What an amazing production of Snow White at The Forum. An absolute hoot! Five stars @kurtisstaceyKS @jimmy__cricket chris askins

‏@askinsbean: @jimmy__cricket took my little ones to panto for first time today and we all loved it jimmy at his best as always well done to you all

Photo from the panto rehearsals week Read some of the previous comments about the show here and get all the latest news and reaction about Jimmy by following him on Twitter.

For more information or to book a ticket for the panto, visit the Forum Theatre website or ring the Box Office on 01642 552663.

* The photos with this story were taken during rehearsals week for the panto.

‘Brilliant and hilarious panto’

Jimmy Cricket will be headlining the 2013 Christmas panto at the Forum Theatre in BillinghamJimmy Cricket’s latest panto has been getting some rave reviews on the social media site, Twitter. 

The Northern Irish entertainer is playing  the comedy role of Muddles in that old favourite, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at the Forum Theatre in Billingham near Middlesbrough.

And he and the rest of the cast, which includes Emmerdale’s Kurtis Stacey  (who plays Alex Moss in the soap and the Wicked Henchman in Snow White), have been praised for their performances in the pantomime which started on Saturday.

Here are a selection of the tweets:

Sam Scullion ‏@samshort1984: Just been to snow white and the seven dwarfs…wow it was brilliant and hilarious @jimmy__cricket @kurtisstaceyKS and the rest of the cast!!

Sam Scullion ‏@samshort1984: @jimmy__cricket just left the panto would just like to say thank-you for a brilliant and hilarious panto :-)

David wallis ‏@Davie_Wally: Just got in from watchin Snow White at the forum! Me n the kids never stopped laughing.Well done to @jimmy__cricket and the rest of the cast

Paul Goffy Gough ‏@GoffyMedia: panto Tue @theatre_forum @jimmy__cricket JC full of warmth & vast experience.You’ll not be disappointed with a visit tons of laughs ;)

Get all the latest news and reaction about Jimmy by following him on Twitter.

On most days, there is planned a 2.30 afternoon matinee and an early evening show starting at around 6pm, but check with the theatre by phone or on its website (details below) as times vary on different days.

The panto, which runs until  5 January, is being produced by the hugely experience Duggie Chapman, who has been in charge of the Forum Theatre’s panto for the last 15 or so years.

For more information or to book a ticket, visit the Forum Theatre website or ring the Box Office on 01642 552663.

Panto season has started – oh yes it has!

 Jimmy Cricket and Victoria Holtom (Snow White)

Jimmy Cricket and Victoria Holtom (Snow White)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs scheduleEntertainer Jimmy Cricket went into panto mode this weekend.

The Northern Irish funnyman plays the comedy role of Muddles in that old favourite, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at the Forum Theatre in Billingham near Middlesbrough.

Also in the cast is Emmerdale’s Kurtis Stacey (he plays Alex Moss in the soap) who will feature in the role of the Wicked Henchman.

On most days, there is a 2.30 afternoon matinee and an early evening show starting at around 6pm, though times vary on different days. More details on the panto schedule on the right.

The panto, which runs until 5 January, is being produced by the hugely experience Duggie Chapman, who has been in charge of the Forum Theatre’s panto for the last 15 years.
For more information or to book a ticket, visit the Forum Theatre website or ring the Box Office on 01642 552663.

Panto rehearsals set to start

Jimmy Cricket will be headlining the 2013 Christmas panto at the Forum Theatre in BillinghamJimmy Cricket will begin rehearsals for his Christmas pantomime at the end of next week.

The Northern Irish entertainer will play the comedy role of Muddles in that old favourite, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at the Forum Theatre in Billingham near Middlesbrough from 7 December to 5 January.

Also in the cast is Emmerdale’s Kurtis Stacey (he plays Alex Moss in the soap) who will feature in the role of the Wicked Henchman.

On most days, there is planned a 2.30 afternoon matinee and an early evening show starting at around 6pm, but check with the theatre by phone or on its website (details below) as times vary on different days.

The panto is being produced by the hugely experience Duggie Chapman, who has been in charge of the Forum Theatre’s panto for the last 15 or so years.

For more information or to book a ticket, visit the Forum Theatre website or ring the Box Office on 01642 552663.

Hi ho hi ho, it’s off to work we go

Cast members of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 7 December to 5 January at the Forum Theatre in Billingham
Some cast members of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 7 December to 5 January at the Forum Theatre in Billingham. Photo credit: Northern Echo

Jimmy Cricket teamed up with some of his fellow cast members at a press launch for the forthcoming festive season pantomime he is headlining.

The Northern Irish entertainer will play the comedy role of Muddles in that old favourite, Snow White and the seven dwarfs, at the Forum Theatre in Billingham near Middlesbrough from 7 December to 5 January.

Alongside Jimmy in the picture above are a couple of the cast who will be playing two of the dwarves, plus Craig Ansell (who will be Sarah the Cook), local girl Victoria Holtom (Snow White), and Emmerdale‘s Kurtis Stacey (he plays Alex Moss in the soap) who will feature in the role of the Wicked Henchman.

On most days, there is planned a 2.30 afternoon matinee and an early evening show starting at around 6pm, but check with the theatre by phone or on its website (details below) as times vary on different days.

The panto will be produced by the hugely experience Duggie Chapman, who has been in charge of the Forum Theatre’s panto for the last 15 or so years.

For more information or to book a ticket, visit the Forum Theatre website or ring the Box Office on 01642 552663.

Jimmy Cricket and Victoria Holtom (Snow White)
Jimmy Cricket and Victoria Holtom (who plays Snow White).  Photograph credit: Northern Echo