Star studded cast on Wearside to launch magical pantomime

Sleeping Beauty Panto

The classic tale of Sleeping Beauty is set to bed down at Sunderland Empire from 9 - 31 December 2016 and the star studded cast were on Wearside this week to launch the magical pantomime.

The enchanting tale of Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Princess Briar Rose, and how ‘Tragedy’ strikes when she has a spell cast over her by wicked fairy, Carabosse, sending her into a deep sleep. Will this be ‘One for Sorrow’ or will the spell be broken by a handsome Prince?

Vicky Entwistle, best known for playing Janice Battersby in ITV’s Coronation Street is set to reveal a wicked side when she takes on the evil role of Carabosse. No stranger to the stage recent credits include Madame Thénardier in the legendary musical Les Misérables, Mrs Baldry in the 2012 tour of Funny Peculiar and ‘Woman 3’ in the UK tour of The Vagina Monologues.

North East based actress and singer Faye Tozer returns to the Sunderland Empire stage as The Good Fairy following her critically acclaimed role as 'Lina Lamont' in Singing in the Rain in 2014 and is set to sparkle as the Good Fairy. Faye is best known for her part in Brit Award winning Pop Band 'Steps'. Over a five year period they released 17 singles and four studio albums selling over 20 million records in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia and the U.S.

Andrew Agnew also returns to the Sunderland Empire following a triumphant pantomime season as Muddles in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs alongside Su Pollard and Matt Lapinskas in 2014. But not quite a silly billy if his resume is anything to go by! Andrew is probably best known as the crime-busting, nature loving PC Plum in the two times BAFTA Award-winning Balamory (CBeebies). Balamory took to the stage in two UK Arena Tours, Balamory Live - What's the Story? & Balamory Live - Strike up the Band! He has also been involved in a nine month tour of CBeebies at the Theatre - Let's Play (BBC Worldwide/WISH).  He has also appeared in several episodes of Woolly and Tig (Tattiemoon) as Tam, Dame Nursey and the Shoemaker. 

Andrew has also found time to step behind the camera and become one of the Directors on three CBeebies shows Me Too! (Tattiemoon), Woolly and Tig (Tattiemoon) and My Pet and Me.

Legend of radio, screen and stage, Bobby Crush takes on the role of Nurse Nelly, Bobby first came into the public eye after six winning appearances on Opportunity Knocks in the 70s. Since then he has had numerous stage roles and his own TV show. Most recently he took on the role of Billy Sparkle in the new series of Benidorm. His musical stage performances include ‘Dr. Frank N. Furter’ in The Rocky Horror Show and ‘Billy Flynn’ in Chicago. West End successes include three seasons at the London Palladium co-starring alongside Jack Jones, Vic Damone and Julie Andrews. As a regular performer at the London Palladium, Bobby’s name was recently added to the ‘Roll of Honour’ at the Palladium stage door.

Amy-Leigh Hickman joins Vicky as the beautiful Princess Briar Rose, and judging by her many TV credits she may just be ready for a long sleep. Amy–Leigh  is most well known for playing Carmen in the popular CBBC series ‘Tracy Beaker’, followed by the spin off series ‘The Dumping Ground’ which is currently in its third season. Amy–Leigh spent most of 2013 filming in Africa and Hungary for the action show Strike Back and has since worked further on TV drama. Since Strike Back, Amy-Leigh has played Aisha Karim on ‘Casualty’ and Sarah Boswell on ‘Doctors’ before landing the role of Linzi Bragg in ‘EastEnders’.  

Sleeping Beauty is set to be another spectacular pantomime that promises to add a fairy tale touch to the festive season. Packed full of hilarious jokes, show-stopping song and dance, larger-than-life characters, colourful costumes, sparkling sets and amazing Computer Generated Image (CGI) special effects!

Special offers for families... Prices start at just £18 per person when purchasing three or more tickets (must include at least one child) during selected performances. More information.

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Did you know?

L.S. Lowry spent his holidays in Sunderland at Seaburn, painting scenes of the coast, port and coal mines. The city is the home to one of the best collections of L.S. Lowry paintings in England.

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