Stephen Fry set for virtual role in Norwich pantomime

Emma Knights Norfolk actor and comedian Stephen Fry is to appear in this year's pantomime at Norwich Theatre Royal.The top TV, film and theatre star will play the virtual role of The Mirror in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Emma Knights

Norfolk actor and comedian Stephen Fry is to appear in this year's pantomime at Norwich Theatre Royal.

The top TV, film and theatre star will play the virtual role of The Mirror in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

His role was filmed in studios outside Norwich about a month ago.

Mr Fry, who stars in the Norfolk-based ITV series Kingdom, is no stranger to pantomime.

“While I was at Cambridge University, I was part of the Footlights and one of their big shows every year was the pantomime,” he said.

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“Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson starred in it during the first year and I wasn't interested in comedy and thought I was going to be a serious actor. By the third year, I was starring in it with them.

“The only problem with panto is that I have a Van Gogh's ear when it comes to music so I have to have a non-singing part whatever it might be.”

Last year he wrote a pantomime for the Old Vic Theatre in London.

He said: “I have always had a secret love of the pantomime and the well-springs of humour, preposterousness and charm that they deliver.”

Snow White will be a bit of a family affair for Mr Fry this year, because his distant relative Caitlin Stasey - Rachel Kinski from Neighbours - is playing the leading role.

He said: “Caitlin is wonderful. We are very proud of her. She has become this huge soap star and is divine. You could fit her in a teacup which is rather unusual for our family as we tend to be built on lines similar to the Royal Albert Hall.

“It's very unusual for us to have a petite and elegant member of the family - she's the only one. She's really looking forward to it and I think she'll bring great freshness and delight to the pantomime.”

John Bultitude, from Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “We are really excited to have someone of Stephen's calibre in the pantomime.

“As The Mirror Stephen will appear on screen in several scenes during the show.

“It is great to have Stephen in the show and it is also nice to have so many local performers in the cast too.”

Actress Liza Goddard, who lives near Dereham, will play Fairy Snowdrop, and West Norfolk wrestler Nick Aldis, from Sky One's revival of Gladiators, is also in the cast.

Seasonal stalwart Richard Gauntlett is also returning to the theatre to play Nurse Nellie.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be at Norwich Theatre Royal from December 16 until January 18. Tickets cost between £5 and £17.50. To book call 01603 630000. For more information visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk