The Marlowe
If anyone can save panto, it’s Nurse Nellie!

If anyone can save panto, it’s Nurse Nellie!

Due to the fact that the government has placed Kent into Tier 3 restrictions, our much-anticipated fun-sized socially-distanced pantomime is now planned to premiere on Saturday 19 December and will run until Sunday 10 January.

With over 14,000 tickets already sold, we’ve been doing all that we can to ensure that you don’t miss out on your annual pantomime visit. With rehearsals in theatres still permitted, the cast of Nurse Nellie Saves Panto began rehearsing together this week and all government safety measures are being followed.

Our Chief Executive, Deborah Shaw, said: “The recent news that Kent has been moved into Tier 3 restrictions has certainly proved to be a challenge, but we are in no doubt about how much our audiences love their pantomime visit and we are doing everything we can to make it happen. We are hoping that Kent moves into Tier 2 restrictions before Christmas, as this will mean that the show can go ahead. Our primary aim is to make sure that we can all enjoy a live pantomime together, if humanly possible.”

Asked for her comment on the evolving situation, panto legend Nurse Nellie said: “Come on Kent, we can do this.  We must have a pantomime in Canterbury this Christmas – it’s the law!”

Rumours that SAGE scientists were demanding a socially distanced, 12m long, pantomime ghost-gag bench were still unconfirmed last night, despite intense speculation in the press and on social media.

As well as announcing the revised opening date, we’re very excited to reveal further news of the production’s cast.

As previously announced, this production stars our much-loved panto legend Ben Roddy who has played the Dame in our pantomimes for the last eleven years.

The role of Fairy Moonshot will be played by Chanice Alexander-Burnett, who has performed in a number of top West End shows. Her past stage roles have included appearances in Motown The Musical, The Book Of Mormon and Beautiful: The Carole King Story.

Cara Dudgeon, who was recently nominated as Best Female at The Great British Pantomime Awards, will be playing the role of Jill. Having performed in a number of top musicals tours, including Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and a dance show with Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe from Strictly Come Dancing, Cara has also made TV appearances on shows such as Bernard’s Watch, My Parent’s Are Aliens, Jamie Johnson and This Is England.

Kent comedian Lloyd Hollett returns in the role of Billy, marking his 10th appearance in a Marlowe pantomime. Lloyd has performed for audiences all around the world and also writes comedy scripts for Stephen Mulhern. He has also released two live comedy DVDs and appeared at The Marlowe Studio with his latest show Live & Electric.

Every pantomime needs an evil-doer to hiss-and-boo at and children’s TV favourite, Ian Kirby, promises to unleash a dastardly plan to bring down pantomime in the role of The Baddie. Ian is known to TV fans for his appearances in Dick & Dom In Da Bungalow and The Slammer (currently enjoying a re-run on CBBC). He is also part of the recent TV revival of Crackerjack! and next year he will be seen as the new pirate Sandy Toes in CBeebies favourite Swashbuckle.

Tickets are now on sale and selling fast. With limited seating available, ticket demand is high and customers are advised to book early.

Audiences whose tickets are affected by the change of opening date will be contacted directly by the theatre team in the next few days. Customers can book with confidence in the knowledge that they will be entitled to a refund or credit voucher if any scheduled performance doesn’t take place.