If you look behind you last Christmas may not seem that far away, but preparations are already well underway for this year’s pantomime at Clacton’s Princes Theatre – oh yes they are!
Ray Quinn, former Brookside actor and X Factor runner-up, has been announced as the star of Peter Pan, being staged at the Tendring District Council-run theatre from December and produced by Polka Dot Pantomimes.
Quinn has graced our screens across two decades, first in the Liverpool-set soap and then later on in shows such as X Factor where he was runner up to Leona Lewis, Dancing on Ice – which he not only won in 2009 but in which he was also crowned Champion of Champions in the 2014 series – as well as winning Get Your Act Together in 2015 with a talent for impressions.
Musically, Quinn has a platinum album to his name with Doing It My Way, a swing selection which entered the UK album charts at number one when it was released in 2007.
No stranger to the theatre, Quinn has appeared – and starred – in several pantos during his career too, as well as West End musicals Grease and Legally Blonde. He is currently on the Dancing on Ice live tour, and this summer will play the lead in the musical tour of Summer Holiday, playing Don – the role made famous by Sir Cliff Richard in the 1960s’ film of the same name.
Speaking on his upcoming panto role Quinn said: “I am delighted to be taking the lead role of Peter Pan at The Princes Theatre in Clacton this Christmas.”
Last year’s panto, also put on by Polka Dot Pantomimes, broke box office records at the Princes Theatre.
Mick Skeels, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said he was delighted at the casting announcement.
“To have lined up such an acting and musical talent of this calibre so early is a real coup for the Princes Theatre,” he added.
“I have every confidence that this year’s pantomime will be even better than the one before – which is no mean feat – and I can’t wait to see it.”