The Lyric Hammersmith’s big festive show is a new adaptation of Cinderella.
To get you in the holiday mood, we were given exclusive access to the King Street theatre’s archive to find the posters of pantos past.
Here, we look back at 15 years of pantomime fun. Starting with this year’s show, Cinderella. Enjoy!
Cinderella in 2023
Written by BBC Proms presenter Vikki Stone and directed by Tonderai Munyevu, the show – which promises lashings of sass, magic and live music – runs until 6 January, with tickets from £10.
Vikki knows the Lyric’s stage like the back of her hand. She wrote the 2021 panto, having appeared as Abanazar in 2016, and Fleshcreep in 2017.
It’s set in nearby Shepherds Bush Market, where Cinders (Tilly La Belle Yengo) has a stall. One of the shoppers is handsome Prince Henry (Damien James), who falls in love with Cinderella.
But the path of true love rarely runs smoothly, and Cinderella’s step-sisters, Muffy (Charlie Cameron) and Gusset (Meghan Treadway), and her wicked stepmother Lady Jelly Bottom (Emmanuel Akwafo) do their best to disrupt the route to the grand ball in Hammersmith, while the Fairy (Jodie Jacobs) weaves her own magic.
So, how many of the Lyric’s past pantos do you remember? It’s easy to get confused as Aladdin, Dick Whittington and Cinderella are such popular choices, year after year!
However, last year’s production was Jack and the Beanstalk, which The Guardian described as such a sugar rush you wouldn’t need an interval ice cream.
Written by Jude Christian and Sonia Jalaly, it broke new ground by incorporating extreme skateboarding into the show, while Daisy the Cow proved she could sing like no udder.
Before that in 2021, it was Aladdin, also written by Vikki Stone, with our hero, the Genie and pals riding a magic carpet in a production directed by Abigail Graham.
Here’s a full list of the past panto fun:
2019 – Before Covid struck, Cinderella was again the choice for the Lyric, this time written by Jude Christian and directed by Tinuke Craig.
2018 – Dick Whittington packed the theatre. Written by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd, it saw Sarah-Louise Young as Queen Rat, Carl Mullaney playing the dame, and Luke Latchman as Dick.
2017 – Jack and the Beanstalk featured again in 2017, with Joel Horwood writing and Vikki Stone starring. As ever, the cast included performers from the Lyric Young Company.
2016 – Aladdin was the choice, with Joel Horwood writing the script and The Daily Telegraph giving the show five stars while summing it up as “glorious”.
2015 – This year’s Cinderella saw Tom Wells script a “wackily original” version of the well-loved subject, according to the Evening Standard. Krystal Dockery took the title role.
2014 – Dick Whittington returned, with Tom Wells writing the pantomime, and Andy Rush playing the hero.
2013 – Jack and the Beanstalk hit the Lyric stage, written by Tom Wells and directed by Dan Herd.
2012 – Cinderella was once more the choice as the Hardups arrived in Hammersmith, with Bake-Off star Mel Giedroyc one of the most memorable turns in Sean Holmes’s show, while Prince Charming was – reviewers concurred – a dead ringer for the new Foreign Secretary, David Cameron!
2011 – Going way back, Aladdin was again the choice of panto when Steve Marmion directed, Simon Kunz played Abanazar and the show was set in a curious place called Ha-Maa-Smiitt.
2010 – Dick Whittington and His Cat was the choice, with Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Joel Horwood sharing the writing credit, the King Rat singing a version of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, and Steven Webb taking the title role.
2009 – Jack and the Beanstalk was the choice, with the poster for the production showing Jack trying to coax the cow on to a 220 bus in Hammersmith, and Martyn Ellis playing the dame.