Olivier-nominated actor to be panto dame

Jimmy Johnston plays Sarah the Cook in this year's White Rock Theatre pantomime Dick Whittington
Jimmy Johnston plays Sarah the Cook in this year's White Rock Theatre pantomime Dick Whittington

No pantomime would be complete without a Dame, and this year the role of Sarah The Cook in The White Rock Theatre’s magical pantomime adventure Dick Whittington will be played by twice Olivier-nominated actor Jimmy Johnston.

Jimmy joins a stellar cast led by Sheila Reid, best known for playing the role of Madge Harvey in ITV’s Benidorm.

Jimmy is far from the typical pantomime Dame. He was born in Newport, South Wales and left behind a promising boxing career (he was Welsh Champion) to train in musical theatre.

Jimmy’s extensive theatre credits include roles in major West End musicals such as Miss Saigon and Les Miserables. His roles in Phantom of the Opera and Pirates of Penzance both secured him Olivier Award nominations and he holds the accolade of being the only person to have played all the male roles in the West End musical Cats.

Hasting’s audiences will also know Jimmy from his TV appearances, including the starring role of Critias in Atlantis (BBC One) and for appearances in ITV’s Upstairs Downstairs and BBC’s Holby City.

Executive Producer Daryl Back, who was behind last year’s hugely-successful pantomime Peter Pan says “I’m so excited to have Jimmy in the show as he has some amazing credits to his name. He has an incredible voice, a larger-than-life personality and is a fabulous actor”.

Dick Whittington opens at the White Rock Theatre on December 13 and runs until January 4, 2014. Opening weekend tickets are available at £14.50 online at whiterocktheatre.org.uk.