Champ to play King Rat in Northampton panto

Published: 11 June 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Amazing show”: Dick Whittington
Tall Stories’ The Gruffalo

Ricky Champ, resident bad boy Stuart Highway in the BBC soap EastEnders, will play King Rat in the 2021 Northampton Royal and Derngate panto Dick Whittington.

Phil Gallagher, Mister Maker from Cbeebies, will take the role of Billy, Dame Dolly will be played by Bob Golding and Fairy Bowbells will be portrayed by Deborah Tracey.

Gallagher said, “I have very many happy memories of launching the Mister Maker and The Shapes live tour at Royal and Derngate in 2015 and I can't wait to work with the team again. I’m so happy to be spending panto season in Northampton. It’s going to be an amazing show.”

Dick Whittington marks a new partnership between Royal and Derngate and pantomime producer Evolution Productions, run by husband and wife Paul Hendy and Emily Wood. Hendy will write the show and Wood will direct.

Dick Whittington will run on the Derngate stage from Thursday 9 December until Sunday 2 January 2022. Meanwhile, in the Royal auditorium, Tall Stories’ musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo can be seen from Monday 13 December until Sunday 2 January.