Star launches panto

Sheila Reid, who will play Fairy Bowbells in this year’s White Rock Theatre pantomime Dick Whittington, made an early visit to the theatre on Tuesday to officially launch the show.

Best-known to television viewers for her role as Madge in the long-running ITV hit sitcom Benidorm, Sheila, who makes her pantomime debut in Dick Whittington, has enjoyed a long and hugely successful career in theatre, television and film.

As well as her role in Benidorm, Sheila’s many television credits include Call the Midwife, Doctor Who, Doctors, Casualty, and Monarch of the Glen.

On stage Sheila’s credits include When I Was A Girl I Used To Scream and Shout, The Importance of Being Earnest and many productions with the National Theatre and RSC.

Sheila was joined at the launch of the pantomime by Will Haswell, who will play Dick Whittington, and Abigail Matthews who joins the cast as Alice Fitzwarren.

The pair performed some of the musical numbers from the show in front of more than 150 guests at the launch.

Daryl Back, executive producer of Dick Whittington, said: “I’m delighted to have an actress of Sheila Reid’s calibre leading the cast of our spectacular White Rock Theatre pantomime.

“Sheila’s combination of strong stage presence and fantastic comedy make her the perfect star for this magical production.”

Theatre Director Howard Barnes added: “We’re really pleased to welcome Sheila to Hastings pantomime which has deservedly gained the reputation of a first class production which delights adults and children alike!”

Dick Whittington runs at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings, from Friday, December 13, 2013 to Saturday, January 4, 2014.

For tickets and information visit www.whiterocktheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01424 462288.