Dancer Wayne Sleep to star in this year’s Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime

Wayne Sleep in Aladdin., the 1987 Theatre Royal Panto. Picture: EDP Library.

Wayne Sleep in Aladdin., the 1987 Theatre Royal Panto. Picture: EDP Library. - Credit: Archant

Dancer Wayne Sleep is to head the cast of Norwich Theatre Royal's pantomime this Christmas.

Wayne Sleep attends the UK Theatre Awards 2014 at the Guildhall, London. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wi

Wayne Sleep attends the UK Theatre Awards 2014 at the Guildhall, London. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

The performer is to play the villian in the production of Jack and the Beanstalk which will take to the stage at the city venue from December 13 to January 15.

It marks a return to the city's panto spotlight for Mr Sleep after he previously starred in Goldilocks and the Three Bears back in 1984 and Aladdin in 1987.

Destined to dance from an early age, the well known star was a senior principal dancer at the Royal Ballet Company before forming his own company - DASH - which performed in the West End and all over the world including at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Mr Sleep, who was made an OBE in 1998, has appeared in countless shows on stage and screen, including I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Celebrity Come Dine With Me, four Royal Variety Performances, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cats, This Is Your Life, Parkinson and Wogan.

He is a patron of the Royal Ballet Organization, vice-president of the Royal Academy of Dance, and has also set up The Wayne Sleep Foundation which provides scholarships to help talented young people further their dance and theatre training.

Three more cast members have also just been announced for the Theatre Royal's Christmas show.

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Taking on the title role of Jack is David Burilin, who played Prince Frederick in last year's Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime, Snow White, and who has previously appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar at the city theatre. His other stage credits include the West End and touring production of Evita and Whistle Down The Wind which toured the UK.

The character of Jill will be played by Mira Ormala, who this weekend is performing with the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company at the Theatre Royal and has previously been part of the West End cast of Love Never Dies.

David Gant will also be returning to the theatre to play the Sheriff, having previously performed at the Theatre Royal in Sleeping Beauty in 2011. He has appeared in movies including Victor/Victoria and Gandhi and TV programmes including Midsomer Murders, Holby City, Father Brown and Sherlock.

The four new cast members will be joining the previously announced performers Richard Gauntlett and Ben Langley in the festive spectacular. Mr Gauntlett is also writing and directing the show.

John Bultitude, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: 'We are very excited to welcome Wayne, David, Mira and David to the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk. Wayne Sleep's long career as a highly respected dancer and actor speaks for itself. David Burilin's strong theatrical pedigree, Mira's enthusiasm and fabulous voice, and David Gant's stage presence are also set to make this an incredible panto.

'Add in panto favourites Richard and Ben, and with more star casting to be announced, Jack and the Beanstalk is set to be a fantastic family production. Oh yes it is!'

Jack And The Beanstalk is at Norwich Theatre Royal from December 13 until January 15. Tickets £7-£23.50.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.

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