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pantomime

Jimmy to have monthly newspaper column 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy to have monthly newspaper column

Jimmy Cricket gets front page coverage ahead of his latest pantomime at the Charter Theatre in PrestonJimmy Cricket is to write a monthly newspaper column in the lead-up to his latest pantomime season.

The Lancashire Evening Post has commissioned the articles to coincide with the well-known comedian headlining Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto debut in 1981 – over the Christmas and New Year period.

When the Lancashire Evening Post contacted Jimmy through his website editor Martin Hamer – former digital editor at the LEP – about the idea, he thought it was a “very flattering request”.

Jimmy said: “As a result, I did not hesitate to respond positively and am thrilled that my first monthly article is due to be published in the paper’s edition on Monday (22 September).”

He intends to use the article to describe some of the many stories he has collected from more than 30 years of performing in pantomimes.

This includes appearing in many of the major cities and towns across the UK and has also included working with a variety of celebrities from stage and screen.

Added Jimmy: “Hopefully the monthly articles will set the scene for my forthcoming appearance in Snow White at the Charter Theatre at the end of the year.”

Skegness reunion for Jimmy, Theo & Wendy 150 150 mhamer

Skegness reunion for Jimmy, Theo & Wendy

Jimmy with Theo the Mouse and Wendy

Jimmy Cricket met up again with TV characters Wendy Abrahams and Theo The Mouse when they all featured in a summer season spectacle at the beginning of August at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness, Lincolnshire.

The show was part of a series of summer performances at the theatre, which also featured Anita Harris, Stu Francis and The Bachelors (see poster below).

Sunday night Startime at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness starred Jimmy Cricket, Anita Harris, The Bachelors, Theo The Mouse and Wendy

The Embassy Theatre line-up was produced by the theatre impresario Mark Andrews.

Although well-known entertainer Jimmy only headlined the first production, all three evenings featured Wendy, who features in CITV’s Sooty Show, and Theo The Mouse, a children’s character created by Wink Taylor. 

Wendy’s partner, Wink, helps out with Theo The Mouse and is also heavily involved with the latest television version of Sooty, which is broadcast on weekend mornings on ITV1.

Northern Irish comedian Jimmy also met Theo and Wendy when he appeared at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, South Wales, towards the backend of last year.

The Facebook page for Theo The Mouse can be found here.

Return to panto debut venue – 33 years later 150 150 mhamer

Return to panto debut venue – 33 years later

Jimmy Cricket first appeared in panto at the Charter Theatre in preston in Robinson Crusoe in Outer SpaceJimmy Cricket will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Preston's Charter Theatre

Jimmy Cricket will be performing in pantomime later this year at the Charter Theatre in Preston – where he made his panto debut in 1981.

The famous entertainer will be appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (poster below) at the Lancashire venue.

It will be 33 years after the Northern Irish funnyman figured in a version of a contemporary pantomime called Robinson Crusoe in Outer Space (left) when he was described as “Britain’s fastest rising TV comedian”.

Since his first foray into the land of fairytales, Jimmy has featured in 26

 

different pantomime productions over the years, taking in theatres across the UK located in:

Belfast, Glasgow, Nottingham, Bradford, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Darlington, Billingham, Wolverhampton, Truro, Doncaster, Lichfield, Swindon, Torquay, Southport, Ashton-under-Lyme and Weston-Super-Mare.

On his arrival in Preston, he will be reunited with the creative team who produced last Christmas’s record -breaking version of Snow White at the Forum Theatre in Billingham.

Some of the cast have been retained for the Preston version, which has delighted Jimmy who is looking forward to a happy return to the Charter Theatre.

Green cake with wellies on it! 150 150 mhamer

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 150 150 mhamer

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 150 150 mhamer

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

Bingo – it’s Jimmy Cricket! 150 150 mhamer

Bingo – it’s Jimmy Cricket!

Jimmy Cricket with Mark Chanoller, a member of staff at the Top Ten Top Bingo club in Rhyl

Jimmy with Mark Chanoller, a member of staff at the Top Ten Top Bingo club in Rhyl

Jimmy Cricket took a break from his busy pantomime schedule to headline a show at a bingo club just five days before Christmas.

The visit to the Top Ten Bingo Club in Rhyl, North Wales, was on one of Jimmy’s only days off from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in which he had been featuring on Teesside.

During the night, Jimmy was greeted by a supportive crowd as the majority of those who had come for the earlier Christmas games of bingo had decided to stay behind to witness some festive fun from him.

He said: “I was happy to take on this additional commitment as everyone present in Rhyl was in festive spirit and it made for a really nice atmosphere.”