Customs House announces panto cast

Published: 19 September 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Davey Hopper and Ray Spencer as Arbuthnot and Dame Bella Ballcock
Dale Jewitt and Annie Guy as Prince of the North and Snow White
Luke Maddison as Whiffy (left) and Charlie Raine as Sniffy
Bethan Amber Carr-Brown as Mirror and Steven Lee Hamilton as Evil Queen

South Shields Customs House has announced the cast for its 2019–2020 panto, Snow White.

Leading the cast, as ever, is the venue’s Executive Director Ray Spencer, who also writes and directs the show. He plays Dame Bella Ballcock and is joined, for the fourth year in succession, by Davey Hopper as his son, the hapless (and often quite daft!) Arbuthnot.

They are joined by Annie Guy as Snow White. She made her Customs House debut last year as Beauty in Beauty and the Beast. Steven Lee Hamilton plays the Evil Queen. He has appeared in many pantos at the venue, playing both heroes and villains. Last year he played both—the Beast and the Prince. He was the brave and bold Sir John in The Lambton Worm in 2017 and, the year before, was the villainous Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk.

Also returning are Charlie Raine, whose performance as Cutlet the Signing Sheep last year gained her the award for Best Pantomime Animal at The Great British Panto Awards 2019, and Luke Maddison, who has appeared in five Customs House pantos: Dick Whittington, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland and Jack and the Beanstalk. They play two new (to my knowledge, at any rate) skin parts, skunks Sniffy (Raine) and Whiffy (Maddison).

New to the Customs House panto—though not to the Customs House itself—are Dale Jewitt as Prince of the North and Bethan Amber Carr-Brown as Mirror. Both appeared in The Cinder Path whilst Jewitt has appeared in the panto spin-offs And the Cow Jumped over the Moon, And the Cow Jumped into the Woods, Puddles’ Pirate Adventure, Puddles’ Adventure and Arbuthnot and Pals’ Detective Agency. He has also appeared at Live Theatre in Clear White Light. Carr-Brown appeared in And the Cow Jumped into the Woods and in the Customs House production of Romeo and Juliet in South Marine Park. She has appeared in a number of productions with Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) including the show which is currently touring, The Stars Look Down.

The members of the South Tyneside Dance Workshop will yet again be the singing and dancing chorus for the show.

This will be costume designer Paul Shriek’s 10th anniversary of working on The Customs House panto, along with his design partner Matt Fox as they return to create their unique and award-wining costumes and set.

Snow White was the first panto—and one of the first shows—to be performed at The Customs House when it opened in 1994, but it’s a new one for Ray Spencer who said, “we are looking forward to staging the much-loved tale, Snow White, which is completely new to me as a performer, and although I am concerned I might be too tall, I am sure I will be dwarfed by the mountain of talent displayed by our cast members.”

Snow White runs from 27 November to 5 January. Tickets are priced from £9.99 from the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or from the Customs House web site.