Star cast announced for Cinderella

Fri 20 May 2016

We're excited to announce three fantastic cast members to star in our panto this year's panto Cinderella. TV star of EastEnders, West End actor and comedian, RICHARD BLACKWOOD will be playing the role of Buttons. EILISH O'CARROLL, star of Mrs Brown's Boys in which she plays the character Winnie McGoogan will be bringing an Irish twist to the part of Fairy Godmother. Art Attack presenter LLOYD WARBEY is sure to please the crowds as Dandini.

West End star, TV and radio presenter, stand-up comic, and star of BBC's EastEnders Richard Blackwood will bring comedy capers and his years of experience to Derby Arena as he joins the cast of the all-star family panto Cinderella, playing everyone's favourite character, Buttons.

Councillor Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council and Cabinet Member for Communities and City Centre Regeneration, said:

"It's great to have such an exciting cast for this year's pantomime Cinderella which will once again be taking place at Derby Arena. The Derby LIVE panto is a highlight of the cultural calendar and is a staple of the festive season for many families and I look forward to seeing it myself in December."

Critically acclaimed and a regular face on the comedy circuit, you might know Richard from his Channel 4 programme, The Richard Blackwood Show.

He's fronted MTV's prime-time music request show, MTV Select and appeared on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Take AwayHolby CityCasualtyBritannia High and Ed Stone is Dead plus the movie Anuvahood.

He had a number three chart hit Mama Who Da Man and he has hosted Top of the Pops and The Smash Hits Awards.

Some of you might have been listeners to Choice FM, at the time the UK's leading urban station where together with fellow broadcaster, Kat B, the duo were the most-listened to show on the station's weekend schedule.

In 2009 Richard appeared in the Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer prize-winning classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He went on to wow critics and West End audiences when he starred at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as Donkey in the box office smash-hit Shrek the Musical.

Many of you EastEnders fans will know that in 2015 Richard was catapulted back onto the small screen, joining the cast of EastEnders as smooth operator Vincent Hubbard. Vincent's charm, quick wit, good looks and bad boy behaviour have kept viewers hooked! 

Richard Blackwood said:

"I am so excited to be joining the cast of Cinderella at Derby Arena. I always have so much fun on stage and love having laughs with the audience. The show is staged by award-winning producers and will be a real spectacle sure to deliver big fun, energy, music and entertainment!"

Many of you will know TV sensation Eilish O'Carroll, star of hit show Mrs Brown's Boys in which she plays Winnie McGoogan. Now she is set to bring her Irish humour to Derby's biggest ball, Cinderella, at Derby Arena. Eilish, will be cast as the fairy godmother with a quirky Irish twist, guiding Cinderella on her journey to find true love.

As Winnie, Agnes Brown's hopeless yet loveable neighbour in Mrs Brown's Boys, Eilish has brought Irish slapstick, comedy, and good natured 'craic' into the living rooms of millions! It's this brand of comedy that has made the show a runaway success around the world, regularly attracting audiences in excess of 11 million in the UK alone.

Eilish O'Carroll's work on Mrs Brown's Boys has earned it the coveted title of the most watched television programme on Christmas Day 2014 which you might have watched yourself. It has also spawned an internationally successful stage show, and a big screen spin-off, Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie, which topped the box office in the UK and Ireland in its opening week.

Away from the hit show, Eilish has made appearances in films, SnapSparrow's Trap and a short film called Noreen. She also penned, performed and toured her own one woman theatre show Live Love Laugh, which went on to achieve rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for its touching, yet humorous and life affirming look at Eilish's own eventful life.

To many of us Art Attack is an instantly recognisable staple of children's TV. Now presenter and host of the legendary children's TV classic, Lloyd Warbey, is set to swap his paintbrush for pantomime as he joins our cast for Christmas 2016.

Best-known to children for his fun-loving attitude, quirky style and passion for creativity, Lloyd is sure to keep the fun factor flowing as Prince Charming's faithful sidekick, Dandini.

An experienced performer, Lloyd completed his professional training at the prestigious East 15 acting school, where he developed a love for theatre, performance and live entertainment. His passion for the stage saw him tread the boards in the UK tour of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatThe Jungle Book and Peter Pan to name just a few of his theatrical credits. Some of might also remember Lloyd from our own production of The BFG at Derby Theatre in 2011/12.

But it's as the enthusiastic, larger-than-life presenter of the long-running kids' telly favourite Art Attack that Lloyd is best known to children all around the country. The much-loved show, aimed at sparking the imagination and creativity of children, first shot to success in 1990 and has remained a staple of kids' TV diet ever since.

Speaking of his role Lloyd said:

"Dandini is just the perfect role for me! He has that cheeky chappy edge that everyone loves, so I'll have so much fun bringing the character to life on stage. I'm no stranger to Derby, as I've performed here on many different tours over the years. The audiences here are some of the best in the country so I'm excited to get them involved in the action and to make panto magical for everyone."

Richard Blackwood will star alongside Eilish O'Carroll and Lloyd Warbey in Cinderella from Tuesday 6 December 2016 until Tuesday 3 January 2017 at Derby Arena. With tickets priced from £11.25 and concessions, group, school and family tickets also available.

Tickets are selling fast, to get yours booked or find out more, visit our Cinderella page.