Christmas won’t be the same this year for many reasons, including the cancellation of Pantomimes across the country’s theatres due to the pandemic.
Luckily, you won’t have to miss out on this festive staple altogether, as the BBC has announced a star-studded virtual panto will be broadcast on Christmas Eve.
Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime is a retelling of the classic written by the Dawson Brothers, based on an original script by Ben Crocker. As well as the cast assembling online to perform, the panto will also feature original, hand-drawn illustrations by Quentin Blake to help bring the play to life.
The public will have the chance to donate to Comic Relief projects as they watch along.
Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander and Helena Bonham Carter are all set to star.
When is BBC’s Cinderella pantomime on TV?
Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime will air on BBC Two on Christmas Eve (Thursday 24th December) at 8:15pm. It will also be available on BBC iPlayer.
BBC’s Cinderella pantomime cast
Olivia Colman – Fairy Godmother
From Fleabag’s evil step-mum to Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. This will mark Oscar-winner Olivia Colman’s panto debut, following her recent turn as Queen Elizabeth II on the latest season of Netflix’s The Crown.
Tom Hollander – Baron Hardup
Hollander, who you may recognise from The Night Manager, Rev and Us, plays Cinderella’s father, who is even more scared of his new wife and step-daughters than poor Cinderella is, and thus can’t – or won’t – do much to stop their bullying.
Helena Bonham Carter – Lady Devilia
Colman’s The Crown co-star Helena Bonham Carter will play Lady Devilia, AKA Cinderella’s evil step-mother. Judging by Bonham Carter’s epic performance as wicked witch Bellatix Lestrange, we have no doubt she’ll nail the part.
Anya Taylor-Joy – Cinderella
Fresh from the success of her Netflix chess drama The Queen’s Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy will play our kind-hearted and long-suffering heroine. Following her Peaky Blinders debut last year, Taylor-Joy has had a busy year, which she kicked off with a starring role in Austen adaptation Emma and the release of New Mutants.
Guz Khan – Buttons
Comedian and Man Like Mobeen actor Guz Khan takes on the role of the house servant who is in love with Cinderella, and whom she doesn’t love back. If you don’t remember Buttons from the Disney adaptations, it’s because he’s not in them.
Regé-Jean Page – Prince Charming
Relative newbie Regé-Jean Page (Roots) will be playing Cinderella’s dreamy love interest. He is set to star in Netflix’s upcoming YA period drama Bridgerton. Judging by the trailer, we know he can play the dashing gentleman already, so he’ll be an excellent Prince Charming.
Jimmy Akingbola – Dandini
Prince Charming’s aide and confidante will be played by seasoned theatre actor and Holby City, In the Long Run and Rev (in which he worked alongside Colman and Hollander) star Jimmy Akingbola.
Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper – The Evil Step-Sisters
Real-life brother and sister duo Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper will play evil step-sisters Listeria and Salmonella. The hilarious pair co-created and co-starred in This Country, which aired its third and final season earlier in 2020.
How will the BBC’s virtual Cinderella pantomime work?
The pandemic has forced filmmakers to get creative when it comes to putting new content out there. We expect this Cinderella Pantomime will have a similar format to other virtual or Zoom performances that have taken place this year,
Of course, we expect there to be adaptations to incorporate classic panto staples – though it might not be as cathartic to scream ‘It’s behind you!” to your TV screen – including a yet-to-be announced “incredibly famous person” wearing a horse costume.
The BBC has also announced the pantomime will be supported by illustrations from Quentin Blake.
Is there a trailer for BBC’s Cinderella pantomime?
Not yet, but we will update this page when the BBC does release one.
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