All-star cast shall go to the ball

The cast of Cinderella at the Grand Theatre, from left Olivia Birchenough, JJ Hamblett, Steve Royle and Melanie Walters
The cast of Cinderella at the Grand Theatre, from left Olivia Birchenough, JJ Hamblett, Steve Royle and Melanie Walters
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A boy band idol, kids' TV host and Gavin And Stacey star will join Grand panto favourite Steve Royle in this year's seasonal extravaganza.

The theatre will stage the enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tale Cinderella from Tuesday, December 5 to Sunday, January 7 - with an extra dash of sparkly magic.

Channel 5's Milkshake! presenter Olivia Birchenough as Cinderella

Channel 5's Milkshake! presenter Olivia Birchenough as Cinderella

And the team promises 'sumptuous costumes, magnificent scenery and the unmissable and magical moment when Cinderella swaps her rags for a stunning ball gown and is transported to the Prince’s Ball'.

Union J's JJ Hamblett will play Prince Charming, Welsh actor Melanie Walters - best known as Stacey's mother in the hit sitcom - will play the Fairy Godmother, and Channel 5's Milkshake! presenter Olivia Birchenough will play the title role Cinderella with Steve Royle as Buttons in his 15th year as part of the Grand's panto.

Also in the cast, as the Ugly Sisters, will be Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph - who played the roles in the 2012/13 production of Cinderella, the Barbara Jackson Theatre Arts Centre dancers, and Shetland ponies live on stage.Marketing manager Andrew Howard said: "The pantomime season can’t come around fast enough for us all at the Grand and with such a stellar line-up we’ll be hoping for another record-breaking year.

"We’re delighted to announce Steve Royle will be sharing yet another magical Christmas with us, he’s one of the family. Putting on the panto takes a lot of hard work but it’s an incredibly rewarding experience seeing the magic it brings to so many children at Christmas time."

Melanie Walters, from Gavin And Stacey

Melanie Walters, from Gavin And Stacey

The Grand Theatre is also hoping to make the festive season a bit more special for local groups in need with their Magic And Sparkle tickets.

Panto-goers are being invited to buy an extra ticket at a special rate, which will then be donated to local groups.

Andrew added: "As the Grand aims to be the theatre of choice for Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre and to offer opportunities to enjoy, participate and learn through the arts this year we will be launching very special Magic & Sparkle tickets.

"We’d like our customers to think in these hard times of others that might not be as fortunate as themselves and how much of a experience they would be giving if they purchased one extra pantomime ticket at a very special rate.

JJ Hamblett from Union J

JJ Hamblett from Union J

"The theatre will then donate these Magic And Sparkle tickets to organisations and community groups who really need a special treat at Christmas.

"We’ve made it really easy to do whether you’re booking in person, at the box office, or online."

Cinderella is presented by Martin Dodd for UK Productions which has presented the Christmas pantomime at the Grand since 2003.

Visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk or call the box office on 01253 290190 to book.