Strictly star confirmed for Hastings panto

Former Strictly Come Dancing pro Brendan Cole will lead the cast in this year’s White Rock Theatre pantomime adventure in the title role of Robin Hood, alongside Hastings favourite panto comic Ben Watson.

Hastings Robin Hood
Hastings Robin Hood

Hastings White Rock panto will run from December 15-31, with booking now open at

Brendan appeared on every season of Strictly Come Dancing from its start in 2004 through to 2017.

White Rock Theatre venue director Gavin Shuman said: “His charismatic performances, stunning choreography and audacious exchanges with the Strictly judges all made for outstanding viewing and secured his position as one of the most popular dancers on the show. Brendan partnered some of the most successful celebrity contestants including presenter and actress Kelly Brook, supermodel Rachel Hunter and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

“As a dancer, producer and entertainer, Brendan has staged his own song and dance show on 11 nationwide tours of the UK, featuring song, dance and chat and a full orchestra.

“Now an international phenomenon, Brendan was a member of the judging panel of the New Zealand version of the series (Dancing with the Stars) for four years where his obvious expertise and forthright manner earned him the reputation of ‘the Simon Cowell of the judges.’ Since his Strictly debut, Brendan has appeared on stage in pantomime and on television as a guest in a range of shows, from sport to cookery.

“The production will also see the return of much-loved comic Ben Watson as Will Scarlet. Ben is well known to Hastings panto audiences having first appeared in the East Sussex pantomime in 2012. Alongside his pantomime appearances Ben also directs the White Rock Youth Theatre’s annual summer project. His other acting work includes touring his production The History Of Everything from which he created an online version during the 2020 lockdowns which was enjoyed by thousands of intrepid time-travellers from across the world.

“Robin Hood is the ultimate pantomime adventure and will be packed with laugh-out-loud comedy, beautiful costumes and glittering sets.”

The show is produced by Daryl Back in partnership with HQ Theatres.

Daryl said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the very talented Brendan Cole will be playing Robin Hood for us. Brendan is a huge personality and I know will bring a lot of comedy to the production. And, we simply couldn’t return after a year away from the stage without the amazing Ben Watson who is so loved by our audiences in Hastings”

Gavin added: “It’s great to finally announce our star-studded and talented cast for Robin Hood as pantomime returns to Hastings White Rock this Christmas! Having had the past Christmas season with no Hastings pantomime magic, we and our audiences are raring to experience the thrill of live family theatre that only pantomime delivers. To have our production of Robin Hood in the very talented and experienced hands of Brendan Cole, returning comic Ben Watson and a fantastic creative team, we know that pantomime 2021 is going to be a strictly exceptional experience!”

Individual tickets available from £21 and a money-saving family ticket for four people from £68. Booking now open via