Crawley panto gets ready for festive extravaganza

Crawley’s panto this year will be a hugely significant one for West End star Carrie Hope Fletcher who will be our Carabosse.
Carrie Hope Fletcher (contributed pic)Carrie Hope Fletcher (contributed pic)
Carrie Hope Fletcher (contributed pic)

It will be her last before she becomes a mum early next year… which means she will be seven months pregnant by the time she takes to the stage this December. Crawley’s will Carrie’s second panto, a repeat of the role of Carrabosse which she did in Sleeping Beauty last year. The show is at The Hawth from Friday, December 8-Sunday, December 31 (tickets on or by calling The Hawth box office, 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday on 01293 553636).

Carrie Hope Fletcher's impressive West End credits include Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins and WhatsOnStage award-winning roles in Heathers, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella, and The Addams Family. She recently completed a sell-out solo UK tour An Open Book.

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Carrie will star alongside CBeebies favourite Andy Day as Jangles, plus Crawley's regular dame Michael J Batchelor returns alongside Scott Paige who will play the Good Spirit as he makes his pantomime debut.

“I'm so excited. My first panto! I'm 33 and I did the usual amdram stuff early on and turned professional in 2014 when I graduated from drama school. Then I went straight into the West End in Made In Dagenham which sadly didn't do as well as they were hoping it would but it was a fantastic first job, to go straight from drama school into the West End. And I just loved absolutely everything about it. I was in my element. I think it did eight months in total. It was a great run but not as long as it should have been but it was just a wonderful experience. I was in a room with some incredible people, people like Gemma Arterton, these wonderful West End stars and movie stars and I just learned so much with regards discipline and just being in that situation. I was also swing so I was covering eight different men in the company.”

Now in his 23rd year of damehood, Michael will be back for his tenth year at The Hawth.

“Ten years. Yes, I really have been here all that time and that's not a negative! It is definitely a good thing. It just really feels like family here. You get messages on social media and Instagram from people saying that they've seen the show and I even had one family saying that it really didn't feel like Christmas until they had seen me in the show on Christmas Eve. You walk on stage and you just feel that you are amongst friends, and that is so lovely.”

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But at the same time that does bring pressure: “You are thinking ‘Am I as funny as last year? Is what I'm wearing better than last year?”

Completing the cast are Chrystine Symone as Aurora and Luke Walsh as Prince Michael.

CBeebies favourite Andy Day as Jangles will delight the thousands of families who are fans of his BAFTA-nominated series, Andy's Wild Adventures as well as Andy's Dinosaur Adventures, Andy's Prehistoric Adventures, and Andy & The Band among many others.

Tickets from the venue.

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