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Empire panto casting announced

Published: 20 June 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

The principal casting has been announced for Sunderland Empire’s 2019/2020 panto, Cinderella.

2016 I’m a Celebrity Queen of the Jungle and Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt will play the Fairy Godmother. In addition to her TV appearances, she is a published author, having released her debut book Scarlett Says in 2016, which topped the Sunday Times Number 1 Bestsellers list. Her second book, Me Life Story, Sofa So Good, was released last year and takes a look at her life from her time as a student to her career in front of the lens.

The Ugly Sisters will be played by the Queen of North East Comedy Miss Rory (aka Dan Cunningham) as the feisty Rorina Hardup with Duncan Burt as her equally ugly sister Ruby. Miss Rory is almost a NE showbiz institution, having hosted Newcastle cabaret hotspot Boulevard since 2010.

Gemma Naylor from Nick Jnr’s Go! Go! Go! is Cinderella and Tom Whalley returns to the Empire, where he last appeared as PC Pong in Aladdin in 2015, as Buttons.

Finally, Jon Moses returns home for the festive season to play the Prince. Born and bred in Sunderland, he took part in ITV’s 2012 Superstar search to play Jesus in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar.

“I am not only absolutely delighted to be bringing such a fabulous line up of stars to this year’s pantomime, but also that many of them are home grown in the North East,” said Martin Dodd, Producer, UK Productions. “They may work nationally and internationally, but there is only one place that they want to be for Christmas and that’s at home in the beautiful Sunderland Empire.”

Cinderella will run at Sunderland Empire from 13 December 2019 to 5 January 2020. Tickets are now on sale.