Elaine Paige will return to the London Palladium for a three-week festive run in Pantoland At The Palladium.
She joins the cast including Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot, Ashley Banjo & Diversity and Charlie Stemp, as well as West End stars Beverley Knight and Jac Yarrow.
She will reprise her role of Queen Rat, having played the panto villain in Dick Whittington in 2017.
If the sudden smell of vermin is rising from the London sewers it can only mean one thing! Queen Rat is making a return to her rodents in the dark! I can't wait to get back to @PalladiumPanto Come and boo me in December! pic.twitter.com/AmMLMlJK0y
— Elaine Paige (@elaine_paige) October 16, 2020
Paige said: “I absolutely loved playing the evil Queen Rat in Dick Whittington a couple of years ago and can’t wait to be back on the London Palladium’s stage again this year, alongside Julian and the wonderful panto gang.
“Bringing theatre back to the West End is vital for our industry, which has been largely closed since March.
Some rather fabulous news for a Friday…The first lady of British Musical Theatre – the one and only @elaine_paige – has joined our star-studded line up for Pantoland at The Palladium! #PalladiumPanto #QueenRatisBack pic.twitter.com/9hheyQV4v7
— Pantoland at The London Palladium (@PalladiumPanto) October 16, 2020
“I’m thrilled to play a part in helping theatre take its first steps towards full reopening in 2021. It’s time to escape the challenges around us all and give everyone a well-needed laugh!”
The production, which will be performed in front of a socially-distanced audience, has been made possible due to a National Lottery initiative to buy seats which must remain empty.
More productions at other venues will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
In these unprecedented times we are delighted to announce the continuation of our annual pantomime tradition – presenting a galaxy of stars in Pantoland at The Palladium, an all-new celebration of festive cheer, charm and campery from 12 December 2020! pic.twitter.com/cdbUxw9nzy
— Pantoland at The London Palladium (@PalladiumPanto) October 9, 2020
Pantoland At The Palladium director and producer Michael Harrison previously said the event “promises to be a spectacular and exciting celebration of this wonderful art form that has been so devastated and decimated by Covid-19″.
“There is no doubt producing a show of this size and scale is a risk – but it is a risk we have to take,” he said.
“This is not a long-term fix, nor a solution to the tragic situation our industry is in; it simply provides a sticking plaster on a very big theatrical wound as we hopefully prepare for full openings in 2021.”
The production will now mean “over 200 people will now have jobs over Christmas” and will help with “the rehabilitation of London’s vibrant West End”, Harrison added.
– Performances of Pantoland At The Palladium will begin on December 12, running until January 3