The Wokingham Paper

PANTO’S ON: Basil Brush, Kevin Cruise, Britt Ekland and Steven Blakeley all sign up for a Covid-safe Cinderella at Theatre Royal Windsor

Basil Brush
Basil Brush at the Theatre Royal in Windsor with his favourite festive treat Picture: Phil Creighton

A FAIRY GODMOTHER has turned up, with one message to bring some festive cheer this Christmas season: ‘You shall go to the ball’.

The Theatre Royal in Windsor is preparing to stage a pantomime this year – complete with social distancing measures in place.

Cinderella will star Britt Ekland as the Fairy Godmother, while regulars Basil Brush, Kevin Cruise and dame Steven Blakeley will also be reporting for duty.

While most theatres have had to cancel their festive shows, the Theatre Royal Windsor has cracked a formula that allows it to go ahead with Covid-safe measures in place.

With a reduced capcacity in place, there will be an additional week added to the panto programme – curtain up will be from Thursday, November 19. And the show will go on until Sunday, January 10.

The aim is to give as many people as possible the chance to see the show, which will fuse traditional pantomime comedy capers, with a sprinkle of fairy dust, dazzling dancers, colourful costumes and a glittering star cast.

Britt is probably best known for playing legendary Bond Girl Mary Goodnight in The Man with the Golden Gun alongside Roger Moore. She has also starred in many other iconic movies including The Wicker Man, Get Carter and The Night They Raided Minsky’s amongst others.

On television Britt can be seen as herself in the latest season of BAFTA nominated series The Real Marigold Hotel.

This will be her third panto at the Theatre Royal.

Kevin Cruise

Joining her is children’s favourite Basil Brush, who will play Baron Hardup of Frogmore Hall – echoing his TV Comic strip of the 1970s. Panto is a favourite time of year for Basil – and he is a firm favourite at Theatre Royal Windsor. He says he is looking forward to causing mayhem wherever he goes and always an opportunity to include a BOOM! BOOM!

Playing the dame, Lavita Hardup, is Steven Blakeley. This is his 12th year at the Theatre Royal, and he can’t complain about the script – he wrote it.

Joining him as Buttons is local comic legend Kevin Cruise (aka Martin Cabble-Reid). The actor recently toured with Basil and is also the founder of the Kevin Cruise Foundation providing theatre tickets and workshops to disadvantaged children within the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. He’s also the founder of Ramble Happy, encouraging fitness through walking, mindfulness & the great outdoors.

Theatre Royal Windsor’s Co-Directors Anne-Marie & Jon Woodley said: “After such a difficult year for all of us, we have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support of our Audiences and are thrilled to be able to repay their kindness by finding a way to present our much-loved Pantomime.

“It goes without saying, that the safety of our audiences, staff and performers is paramount and we will be following government advice at all times ensuring your enjoyment and peace of mind.

“Roll on Cinderella.”

For more details, or to book tickets log on to TheatreRoyalWindsor.co.uk

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