Justin Fletcher back for Hexagon pantoBy Phil Creighton
February 08, 2012
They say there’s no place like home and for CBeebies megastar Justin Fletcher that’s certainly true.
The actor and children’s entertainer, who grew up in Reading, has just signed up to star in The Hexagon’s pantomime for the third year in a row.
And the news that he’s returning for Beauty And The Beast this Christmas will be welcomed by parents; they’ve been clamouring for his return after Aladdin broke box office records.
A spokesperson for Reading Arts says: “Playing to packed houses over the 2011 festive season, The Hexagon’s pantomime was the most successful ever to be staged in the venue. Producers Imagine Theatre and theatre staff have been bowled over by the audience reaction and the resulting run of sold out performances.”
As the UK’s number one children’s performer, the hard-working presenter is well-known for his appearances in CBeebies shows including Justin’s House, Gigglebiz and Something Special,
His work is widely recognised too. He has received two BAFTAs including one for Best Presenter, while The Stage praised his role in 2011’s Hexagon panto, Aladdin.
It noted: “As Wishee Washee, Justin Fletcher is completely at home, employing his madcap antics and imaginative voices with a cast of skilled and competent actors who are never upstaged, each giving true professional value to their individual roles.”
Reading Arts marketing manager Sarah Cox says: “Aladdin was a real hit with audiences. We were all really proud of the high quality show produced by Imagine and Justin really provided the wow factor.
“We have all been hoping to get Justin back for Beauty and The Beast, and we are delighted that he will return again to perform in his home town.”
Plans are already well under way for this year’s production and Imagine Theatre, who are used to staging elaborate and spectacular family pantomimes, are already hard at work.
Steve Boden from Imagine, who will also return to direct the pantomime for the third year, says: “Our workshops and special effects department have already busy at work.
“Justin’s costumes are being made as we speak and without giving too much away this year’s show will feature hilarious panto routines, bags of audience participation and an even messier slapstick routine than last year.
“We are thrilled that Justin is returning and look forward to announcing further casting shortly.”
Tickets are already on sale and some performances have already sold out.
“We recommend families with younger children should consider booking well in advance to secure the best seats,” says Reading Arts.
Beauty and the Beast runs from Saturday, December 8, 2012, to Sunday, January 6, 2013. Tickets cost £18 and discounts are available for groups, schools and youth groups.
For full details, call the box office on 0118 9606060 or log on to www.readingarts.com