Eastenders actress Gillian Wright to star in Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime

Gillian Wright is set to star in the 2017-18 Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime Sleeping Beauty.

Gillian Wright is set to star in the 2017-18 Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime Sleeping Beauty. Photo: supplied by Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: supplied by Norwich Theatre Royal

Eastenders star Gillian Wright is swapping Albert Square for Norfolk later this year when she joins the Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime cast.

The actress - who plays Jean Slater in the BBC One soap opera - will play the pantomime baddie in the city venue's festive production of Sleeping Beauty which will run from December 13 to January 14.

She will join seasoned Theatre Royal panto comedy double-act Richard Gauntlett and Ben Langley who were the first cast members confirmed earlier in the year to star in the Christmas spectacular.

Judy Foster, communications officer at the theatre, said: 'Gillian is a highly-experienced actor and we're thrilled that she is joining our panto family for this year's festive treat.

'She can leave all the trials and tribulations of Albert Square behind for a short while to spread some festive cheer to audiences in Norfolk.'

Ms Wright has played Stacey Slater's mum in EastEnders since she first joined the soap in December 2004.

A true Walford icon, Jean Slater is known for her impressive cardigan collection and the ability to rustle up culinary creations such as Sausage Surprise! and Jean's Fishy Basket. But the character has also battled adversity, from an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder to difficult relationships with her son Sean and daughter Stacey.

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In addition to EastEnders, Ms Wright has also appeared in many other television shows, including Holby City, Spooks, The Bill, Silent Witness and Coronation Street.

She is also no stranger to the West End stage and most recently played Mary Featherstone in How the Other Half Loves at the Theatre Royal Haymarket alongside Nicholas le Provost, Tamzin Outhwaite and Jason Merrells.

She has also appeared in several pantomimes, playing both a good fairy and a baddie.

Sleeping Beauty follows on from the Theatre Royal's 2016-17 pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk which was seen by more than 61,000 people and generated a record-breaking £1,087,670 in ticket sales.

Sleeping Beauty will run from December 13 2017 to January 14 2018 at Norwich Theatre Royal. Tickets £7-£24.50.

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

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