Festive fun as Christmas panto begins at The Carriageworks

Caption: Marshall Lancaster as villain 'Fleshcreep' with Janine Pardo (Princess Amelia) photographed at final rehearsals for the show (if used credit Robin Savage Photography)

The Carriageworks in Leeds is the place to go for the magic of the Christmas pantomime as the festive favourite ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ has begun.

Running until Saturday 5 January 2013, the show featuring ‘Ashes to Ashes’ star Marshall Lancaster and former CBBC presenter Jez Edwards is already entertaining families and people all ages at the Leeds City Council-managed theatre off Millennium Square.

Marshall Lancaster takes on the role of panto villain Fleshcreep in the show, following on from roles in the hugely successful television police series ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Ashes to Ashes’ as well as ‘Casualty’ and ‘Doctor Who’.

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Media are invited to attend the press night for Jack and the Beanstalk which will take place at The Carriageworks on Saturday 8 December from 6:30pm. If you wish to attend please email gwenmarie.ewing@leeds.gov.uk with ‘Panto Press Night’ in the subject or call 0113 247 4746.

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Looking ahead to his role playing the villain, Marshall Lancaster said:

“Panto is really good fun, it feels more like messing about than anything! It’s quite a transition from television work to panto, there is less pressure in panto and even though you try not to go wrong the audience seem to really like it when you do. I had a bit of a baptism of fire last year (in a similar role at Newark in Nottinghamshire) as we went wrong and I said the dame had gone wrong. The dame then walked off stage and sat in the front row saying ‘you can carry on without me’, so I learned the hard way that whatever happens never blame the dame!

“Playing the villain again will be fine – last year the first time I went on stage being met by a jet-stream of boos was quite an experience but you get into it no problem. The singing and dancing will be hard, but I don’t need to be Pavarotti as the audience will probably be booing me throughout anyway so it’ll be okay!”

To contrast Marshall’s first appearance in Leeds, Jez Edwards is back at The Carriageworks for a fourth successive year appearing in the show produced by London-based pantomime experts Paul Holman Associates (PHA).

Jez Edwards, who plays Simple Simon, said:

“Leeds is a real theatre city and panto here is great as The Carriageworks is such a lovely intimate venue and you can see how happy it makes the kids as you can see their faces.

“Last year I recognised some of the same faces as from the previous two years, which is great to see and also now lots of my friends have young children so hopefully they will come along to see the show too.

“This is the first time I’ve done Jack and the Beanstalk in over 10 years so it’s nice to do a different story. Christmas for me is pantomime. In about the last 14 years I think I’ve only had one year off from doing panto and that year by Boxing Day I was bored, so I can’t wait for another Christmas performing in Leeds.”

Also appearing in the show produced by London-based pantomime experts Paul Holman Associates (PHA) at the Leeds City Council-managed theatre off Millennium Square are Allan Jay (as Jack), Barry North (Dame Trott) and Janine Pardo (Princess Amelia).

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“The final run-up to Christmas really does start here with The Carriageworks pantomime beginning. We are delighted to welcome Paul Holman and his team back to Leeds and we know it will be a fantastic show for people of all ages to enjoy in the weeks to come.”

Tickets are available for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, which runs until Saturday 5 January 2013 at The Carriageworks theatre in Leeds, online at www.carriageworkstheatre.org.uk or by calling the box office on 0113 224 3801.


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde, Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472,

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk