The paparazzi were out in full force yesterday as Christmas arrived early at the press launch for Epstein Entertainments' debut panto Cinderella, which comes to The Epstein Theatre from Friday 6th December to Sunday 5th January 2020.
The venue had been decorated by The Festive Decorators and guests were greeted with mince pies and mulled wine upon arrival to set the yuletide mood, before The Guide's Jay Hynd began proceedings by introducing the full cast.
Emmerdale's Sammy Winward will lead this year's star-studded cast in the title role. She will be joined by Benidorm's Crissy Rock; Brookside's Sarah White; Shameless' Warren Donnelly; Andrew Geater; Samantha Palin; and Lewis Devine.
Sammy Winward trained at the Academy of Classical Dance and Stage and is most notable for playing Katie Sugden in ITV's Emmerdale, a role she played for 14 years. Her other TV credits include Lucy Murdoch in Prey and Siobhan Murphy in Fearless for ITV.
It is certain to be a White Crissy-mas with Brookside's Sarah White and award-winning actor and comedian Crissy Rock as the Ugly Sisters.
Crissy's screen career began with an award-winning performance in Ken Loache's 1994 drama Ladybird, Ladybird. The Liverpool native is also renowned for her role as Janey York in ITV's Benidorm, and most recently took part in The All New Monty: Ladies Night which saw a group of celebrities strip-off to raise awareness of the importance of early health checks in preventing breast cancer.
Crissy's stage credits include Escorts: The Musical, Dirty Dusting, Rita, Sue and Bob Too! and Achy Breaky Bride, and panto credits include Ugly Sister in Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal and Fairy Godmother in Sleeping Beauty at The Brindley.
Whilst Sarah White is best known for her character Bev McLoughlin in Brookside, where her controversial and dramatic storyline saw her have a baby with her boyfriend's son.
Her theatre credits include Margy in The Morris at the Liverpool Everyman, Rita in three UK tours of Naked Truth, and Sheila in The Salon at both The Epstein Theatre and St Helens Theatre Royal.
Most notable for playing Stan Waterman in the Channel 4 series Shameless, Liverpool actor Warren Donnelly will play Dandini. No stranger to the stage, Warren's previous panto credits include King Rat in Dick Whittington and Abanazer in Aladdin both at Liverpool's Empire Theatre.
Also joining the cast is the talented Andrew Geater as Prince Charming. Andrew has recently played the Pharoah in the UK tour of Bill Kenwright's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. His impressive vocal talents have seen him perform all over the world including as a member of world-renowned group The 12 Tenors. Other theatre credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls and South Pacific.
Bringing a sprinkling of magic to the show and making all of Cinderella's dreams come true will be Samantha Palin as the Fairy Godmother, whose theatre credits include the UK tour of Forever Dusty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at The Kings Theatre and Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal.
Completing the cast is the hilarious Lewis Devine who will play Buttons. Lewis' career started from an early age when he appeared on the first series of ITV's Kids Stars in Their Eyes which he won with his impersonation of Donny Osmond. His panto credits include Muddles in Snow White and the title role in Peter Pan, both at St Helens Theatre Royal, and French Frank in Beauty and the Beast at Stockport Plaza.
Throughout the afternoon guests got to hear from the cast during a Q+A, with a first glimpse as to what to expect from Epstein Entertainments' magical production coming to The Epstein Theatre this festive season.
Cinderella is produced by Epstein Entertainments Ltd, a joint venture between Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph from Regal Entertainments Ltd and producer Bill Elms.
Producer Chantelle Nolan said: "The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! It was great to bring all the cast together today; everyone got in the festive spirit and it has made us all that more excited to bring the show to the audiences of Liverpool.
"We have a spectacular production in store this Christmas and are delighted to be able to bring even more magic to the production with the introduction of an interactive 3D scene which will make the action jump off the stage. With just 10-weeks until we open be sure to book your tickets early to guarantee the best seats!"
Epstein Entertainments' debut production at the venue promises to be a festive extravaganza, featuring - a first for the venue, a magical interactive 3D scene bringing the panto magic to life like never before!
Cinderella tells the story of a beautiful girl who is reduced to a life of servitude by her two ugly stepsisters. That is all set to change when an invitation to a grand ball at the palace arrives.
With a bit of magic and some help from her friend Buttons, Cinderella is transformed into the belle of the ball. But what will happen at the stroke of midnight?
Enchanted pumpkins, glass slippers, a sparkling fairy-tale carriage - Epstein Entertainments' version of this classic tale has something for the whole family.
Be sure to book your tickets early and get ready to be whisked off to the most lavish panto in all the land.
Show - Cinderella
Venue - Epstein Theatre, Liverpool
Dates - Friday 6th December 2019 to Sunday 5th January 2020
Times - Show times vary so please visit the Epstein Theatre website to obtain the most up to date information.
Tickets - Tickets from £11
To book tickets please call 0844 888 4411* or go online at www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk* or in person at The Epstein Theatre Box Office from 12pm-6pm, Monday-Saturday.
*Subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy.
For more details check out www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk to join their mailing list. Or alternatively you can visit their social media pages on the following channels:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/EpsteinTheatre
Twitter - @EpsteinTheatre
**Disclaimer - This post is written based on a press release provided by BEA. All information is believed to be correct at the time of publishing but is subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues' own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.