Start of the end of the pier panto

Published: 28 September 2020
Reporter: David Upton

Pier performers Jai McDowall and Lucy-Ella Smith

Blackpool’s North Pier is to present the first-ever Christmas Panto in its 157-year history with former BGT winner Jai McDowall as Prince Charming.

The pier’s newly-named Joe Longthorne Theatre will present Cinderella from December 15 to 27.

It’s presented by Blackpool-based International Shows which programmes events in the unique venue. Due to the theatre’s vast size, the production can be staged with full social distancing.

Jai McDowall found fame when he won the fifth series of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2011. He has starred as Prince Charming in Christmas productions at Windsor Theatre Royal, Leeds CarriageWorks Theatre and The Palace Theatre in Redditch.

The full cast is yet to be announced but joining Jai as Cinderella will be Lucy-Ella Smith from Lytham St Annes. Lucy studied musical theatre at Italia Conti and has performed in theatres throughout the UK, including Blackpool Opera House.

Lucy-Ella added, “it’s so exciting that Blackpool is going to get a panto this year and the fact that it’s taking place in such an historic venue for the very first time makes it even more exciting."