Children's TV star announced for Norwich Theatre Royal panto

Gyasi Sheppy who will be playing Dick Whittington in this year's Theatre Royal panto, Dick Whittingt

Gyasi Sheppy who will be playing Dick Whittington in this year's Theatre Royal panto, Dick Whittington and his Cat. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A CBeebies TV presenter will take on the title role in Norwich Theatre Royal's Dick Whittington and his Cat panto this Christmas. 

Gyasi Sheppy joined the channel four months ago and his latest casting is the cherry on the cake of a "whirlwind" year.

Dick Whittington and his Cat will run from December 11 until January 9 2022 and it is a rags to riches tale of a young man leaving home with only his cat and a spotted handkerchief on a quest for fame and fortune.

Gyasi Sheppy who will be playing Dick Whittington in this year's Theatre Royal panto, Dick Whittingt

Gyasi Sheppy who will be playing Dick Whittington in this year's Theatre Royal panto, Dick Whittington and his Cat. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Mr Sheppy has previously appeared in feature films and adverts at home in Northern Ireland and he moved to London a year ago. 

He said: "The story of Dick Whittington of coming from another place to London to find fame and fortune and himself has a lot of parallels with my personal story.

"This year has been a whirlwind, between this and CBeebies and everything else I have been doing, I am just excited to get going and to be back on stage." 

Shakeel Kimotho who will be playing the Spirit of Bow Bells in this year's Theatre Royal panto, Dick

Shakeel Kimotho who will be playing the Spirit of Bow Bells in this year's Theatre Royal panto, Dick Whittington and his Cat. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Also newly-announced for the show is Shakeel Kimotho who will play the Spirit of Bow Bells.

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With a strong dance background, including Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies, Shakeel is an emerging young talent known for his incredible performing skills.

Mr Kimotho said: "Pantos always have a good message and ethos behind them and at the same time don't take themselves too seriously.

"They get people to enjoy theatre and into the arts from a young age." 

Shakeel Kimotho who will be playing the Spirit of Bow Bells in this year's Theatre Royal panto, Dick

Shakeel Kimotho who will be playing the Spirit of Bow Bells in this year's Theatre Royal panto, Dick Whittington and his Cat. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The script has once again been written by Richard Gauntlett, who is returning for his 21st year and will play Sarah the Cook. 

Graham Cole OBE will be playing Alderman Fitzwarren and he is best known for playing PC Tony Stamp in police drama The Bill.

Also appearing is actor and comedian Joe Tracini as Tommy the Cat, Cutting It star Siân Reeves as Queen Rat, Jarnéia Richard-Noel, who most recently played Catherine of Aragon in musical Six on the West End, as Alice Fitzwarren and multi-instrumentalist Joe Pollard as Idle Jack.

Book tickets at norwichtheatre.org or call 01603 630000.

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