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Rehearsals underway for Theatre Royal's Cinderella panto

PUBLISHED: 11:07 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:21 06 December 2019

Richard Gauntlett, left, Fairy Godmother, with, from second left, Buttons (Joe Tracini), Prince Charming ((David Witts), and Cinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Richard Gauntlett, left, Fairy Godmother, with, from second left, Buttons (Joe Tracini), Prince Charming ((David Witts), and Cinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

The cast of Norwich Theatre's Royal's Cinderella panto have left their scripts behind them as rehearsals begin with plenty of famous faces in the cast.

The pantomine dancers during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe pantomine dancers during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Nestled away in West Pottergate, rehearsals are taking place at a converted chapel which is normally the home of the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society.

The cast includes soapstars David Witts as Prince Charming (Eastenders' Joey Branning), Amanda Henderson as an Ugly Sister (Casualty's Robyn Miller) and Joe Tracini as Buttons (Hollyoaks' Dennis Savage).

The title role of Cinderella is played by Kara-Lianne Jones and Theatre Royal panto favourite Richard Gauntlett plays the Fairy Godmother and he is also the writer and director of the show.

Richard said: "We are here for eight days in this converted chapel and then we move to the theatre to start on the stage.

The pantomine dancers during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe pantomine dancers during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"It takes about a year to write and there are loads of ideas that go into it.

READ MORE: EastEnders and panto star on being a Branning and 'really cute' Norwich

"I talk to the theatre, production manager and set team and the script is finally printed out in October.

"Norwich audiences are fantastic and brilliant, they are used to panto here and it is a joy to go out and perform."

Prince Charming (David Witts) and Cinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPrince Charming (David Witts) and Cinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The pantomime tells the timeless tale of a rag to riches servant girl who falls in love with Prince Charming.

However, the course of true love never did run smooth, with her nasty sisters trying to spoil her happiness, and audiences can expect plenty of songs, magical twists and laughter.

David said: "I think it is going to be a great show and you will leave feeling happy.

READ MORE: 19 of the best pantomimes coming to Norfolk this Christmas

The pantomine dancers during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe pantomine dancers during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Speaking about his new home in Norwich for panto season, he added: "I've seen from my walk from my digs to the theatre and to here but so far it is seems nice and a cool city.

"I think I need to learn it first as it isn't just one clear main street, there are lots of little pockets to figure out."

Cinderella runs from December 17 to January 19 and you can purchase tickets at theatreroyanorwich.co.uk, by phone on 01603 630000 or in person at the box office.

Buttons, left, played by Joe Tracini, gives Baron Hardup (David Gant) a hug during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYButtons, left, played by Joe Tracini, gives Baron Hardup (David Gant) a hug during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The pantomine dancers during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe pantomine dancers during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Prince Charming (David Witts) and Cinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPrince Charming (David Witts) and Cinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Fairy Godmother, Richard Gauntlett, right, and Buttons, played by Joe Tracini, give Baron Hardup, David Gant, left, a hard time during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Fairy Godmother, Richard Gauntlett, right, and Buttons, played by Joe Tracini, give Baron Hardup, David Gant, left, a hard time during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Cinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones), centre, with the ugly sisters, Alix Dunmore, left, (Siri) and Amanda Henderson, (Alexa) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones), centre, with the ugly sisters, Alix Dunmore, left, (Siri) and Amanda Henderson, (Alexa) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Cinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones), centre, with the ugly sisters, Alix Dunmore, left, (Siri) and Amanda Henderson, (Alexa) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCinderella (Kara-Lianne Jones), centre, with the ugly sisters, Alix Dunmore, left, (Siri) and Amanda Henderson, (Alexa) during rehearsals for the Theatre Royal panto, Cinderella. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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