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York Theatre Royal panto family united for Cinderella.

York Theatre Royal panto family united for Cinderella.

The cast for this year’s annual York Theatre Royal pantomime Cinderella has been announced, however this year a familiar and much-loved face will be missing from the line-up. Martin Barrass, who plays dame Berwick Kaler’s on-stage ‘son’ was injured in September this year in a road traffic accident and spent several weeks in intensive care in a Leeds hospital. Although Martin’s condition has improved significantly, he will unfortunately be unable to appear in this year’s pantomime Cinderella. Martin is still being treated in hospital, however it is hoped that he will be able to return to York very soon.

Berwick Kaler, who this year will write, co-direct and star in his 38th consecutive pantomime said:
I always said that Barrass would do anything to get out of sharing the stage with me, but this is pretty extreme! In all seriousness, we will really miss Martin this year, but it is more important that he gets the rest and treatment he needs to make a full recovery. Over many years Barrass has begged me to stop ruining his career and set him free from the humiliation of working with me – I’ve always refused stating he’s far too young and has no talent! To go to the extreme of having an accident is rather pointless; why lay in a hospital bed physically suffering when he could have just mentally suffered working with me in Cinderella?

In this dazzling production of Cinderella, Berwick will be joined as an Ugly Sister by AJ Powell who will be stepping into Martin’s shoes. David Leonard takes the role of Baroness von Naff, Suzy Cooper takes the title role of Cinderella, with Hermione Lynch (daughter of David Leonard) playing Prince Charming, Harry Hughes as Buttons and Danielle Mullan as the Fairy Godmother. Lauren Newton, Jake Lindsay, Jack Lansbury, Charleigh Webb and newcomer Scott Wallace make up the rest of the cast.

Co-director Damian Cruden said:

It will be strange not having Martin take part in this year’s pantomime, but we are glad to be in the position now where there may be a few jokes at his expense (well he is family after all!) You never know, we might even try to wheel him on at one point, anything is possible! What with Berwick and his pacemaker and Martin’s accident, we have a lot to thank the NHS for – in fact we can say that if it wasn’t for the great care they give, this year we wouldn’t have a pantomime - I am looking forward to getting started!

Rehearsals for Cinderella will begin on Monday 14 November. The production has been designed by Mark Walters who provided the spectacular designs or Dick Whittington (and his meerkat) and this summer’s hit Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles. Lighting has been designed by Richard G Jones, with Rob Castell (cast member and music for Sherlock Holmes) as Musical Director, Grace Harrington as choreographer and Simon Marlow as Production Manager.

Tickets for Cinderella are on sale now £33.50 - £12 (£1.50 transaction fee per booking) from the York Theatre Royal box office in person, by phone on 01904 623568 and securely online at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.