10 songs to get you in the mood for panto season

Wayne Sleep plays villain Phineas P Stinkworthy in Norwich Theatre Royal's panto Jack and the Beanst

Wayne Sleep plays villain Phineas P Stinkworthy in Norwich Theatre Royal's panto Jack and the Beanstalk. PHOTO: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

It's almost Christmas and at Norwich Theatre Royal that can only mean one thing – it's panto season. If you can't wait for curtain up, count down to Jack and the Beanstalk's opening night on December 13 with our playlist.

David Gant stars as Sheriff Phil Hiccup in Jack and the Beanstalk. PHOTO: Steve Adams

David Gant stars as Sheriff Phil Hiccup in Jack and the Beanstalk. PHOTO: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

This year's pantomime is Jack and the Beanstalk, starring dance legend Wayne Sleep. Wayne started out with the Royal Ballet, before going on to present and choreograph the Hot Shoe Show, star on the West End stage, and appear on TV in everything from I'm A Celebrity to Strictly Dance Fever.

He stars as the villainous Phineas P Stinkworthy.

Appearing alongside Wayne will be David Burilin, familiar to Norwich audiences from his role as Prince Frederick in last year's Snow White. This year, he's the hero of our tale, Jack Trottalot. Playing his one true love, the beautiful Jolene Hiccup, will be musical theatre star Mira Ormala (Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies).

Returning as our panto dame is local favourite Richard Gauntlett, who also writes and directs the show. As well as donning a series of extraordinary dresses for the role of Nigella Trottalot, Richard once again writes and directs our panto. Also making welcome returns are David Gant (Sheriff Phil Hiccup) and Ben Langley (Silly Billy).

Richard Gauntlett and Ben Langley in Jack and the Beanstalk

Richard Gauntlett and Ben Langley in Jack and the Beanstalk - Credit: Dave Guttridge The Photographic


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Check back here for updates and backstage news from the panto, from the rehearsal process right through until closing night.

In the meantime, this carefully curated playlist will get you in the panto mood.

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1. The 12 Days of Christmas – Bing Crosby

We start with a classic Christmas song – it's a panto tradition! Bing Crosby's 12 Days of Christmas is ideal to get you into that panto mood. Just picture yourself singing it along with a theatre full of people...

David Burilin plays our hero Jack Trottalot in this year's Norwich Theatre Royal panto.PHOTO: Steve

David Burilin plays our hero Jack Trottalot in this year's Norwich Theatre Royal panto.PHOTO: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

2. Cotton Eyed Joe – The Rednex

This year, Jack and the Beanstalk has a Wild West twist – and what's more western than the Rednex performing Cotton Eyed Joe? Crack open a can of beans and sit around the campfire while you listen to this one!

3. Hit the Road, Jack – Ray Charles

We'll be laughing along with the story of Jack's adventures: from leaving home, to climbing the beanstalk, winning the heart of the beautiful Jolene, beating the fearsome giant, and buying back his beloved cow. That's quite a to-do list, and we like to think he might have listened to this bluesy classic to pluck up the courage.

Mira Ormala is joining the panto cast as Jolene Hiccup.

Mira Ormala is joining the panto cast as Jolene Hiccup. - Credit: Archant

4. The Climb – Miley Cyrus

'Ain't about how fast I get there, ain't about what's waiting on the other side, it's the climb.'

Wise words there from Miley Cyrus, and they could have been written for our hero as he sets off up the beanstalk.

5. Jolene – Dolly Parton

Mira Ormala stars as Jolene Hiccup – and that's as much excuse as we need to crank up the volume and sing along to a bit of Dolly Parton!

6. Three Little Maids From School Are We – The Cast of The Mikado

Mira was last here in Norwich in September, when she toured with the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company. She starred in The Mikado (where you'll find this catchy number) and The Pirates of Penzance, opposite Richard Gauntlett. He's also back for Jack and the Beanstalk; he writes and directs the show, as well as starring as panto dame Nigella Trottalot.

7. Mr Mistoffelees – Wayne Sleep, Cats Cast

'Well was there ever a cat so clever as magical Mr Mistoffelees?'

Our panto baddie this year is the iconic dancer Wayne Sleep – he created the role of that magnificent, magical moggie in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. Here's his wildly catchy theme song.

8. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

One of Wayne's most famous performances was the time he danced with Princess Diana herself, at a gala night for the Friends of Covent Garden. They danced, appropriately enough, to Billy Joel's Uptown Girl.

9. Giants – Ella Henderson

Ella Henderson's inspirational anthem matches up perfectly to our story – 'head in the clouds, never looking down'? Well, neither would you if you were dangling from a beanstalk!

10. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

Altogether now! 'So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody's having fun…'

Jack and the Beanstalk runs from 13 December until 15 January, and tickets are available now at www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk.

Jack and the Beanstalk at Norwich Theatre Royal sponsors the Norwich Ice Rink at Castle Gardens from December 16 to January 8. See icerinknorwich.co.uk for details.

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