Children’s TV star and former Strictly finalist DANI HARMER to play Fairy Godmother in the Theatre Royal’s magical pantomime CINDERELLA alongside Bath favourite JON MONIE this Christmas
Dani Harmer, one of the biggest stars of children's television in BBC history, is set to play Fairy Godmother in Bath’s Christmas pantomime, Cinderella, alongside comedian and award-winning writer Jon Monie, who plays Buttons and has also written UK Productions’ glittering 2021 show. Appearing at the Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 16th December to Sunday 9th January, this truly traditional production will ensure that every family member has a ball.
With a brand new joke-filled script penned by Bath’s own all round pantomime legend Jon Monie, Cinderella promises a feast of family fun and festive frivolity. In the best-loved pantomime of them all, Cinderella is treated as a servant by her wicked (not to mention ugly) stepsisters. She needs all the magic her Fairy Godmother can conjure, along with help from her best friend, Buttons, if she is to meet her Prince Charming, and find true love before the clock strikes midnight. Featuring an enchanting story, side-splitting comedy, lavish settings and adorable miniature ponies, Cinderella is the perfect Christmas treat to entertain all ages.
Dani Harmer, who stars as Fairy Godmother, is known to millions of children for her television role as Tracy Beaker. Dani recently starred in the 2021 CBBC series My Mum Tracy Beaker, which received over 2.1 million streams on iPlayer on its opening weekend. She first starred in the title role in CBBC’s hugely successful series The Story of Tracy Beaker from 2002 to 2005, followed by Tracy Beaker Returns from 2010 to 2012. In 2010 the series, based on the novels by Bath-born Jacqueline Wilson, won the Children's BAFTA for Best Drama and Dani received a BAFTA nomination for her performance. Tracy Beaker Returns received the highest ratings ever for the CBBC channel and won the Royal Television Award for Best Children’s Drama in 2011. Dani also starred in Tracy Beaker Survival Files in 2011 and 2012; The Dumping Ground in 2018; and her own hit CBBC show, Dani's House, which received a Children's BAFTA nomination in 2009, followed by Dani’s Castle in 2013 and 2014.
In 2012 Dani performed in BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, reaching the final with her dance partner Vincent Simone. She also took part in the 2013 Strictly Come Dancing National Tour dancing with Pasha Kovalev. Dani started her acting career aged six performing in the West End musical Tommy and the national tour of the musical Annie. She has since starred in stage shows ranging from The Wizard of Oz and The Rocky Horror Show to Twelfth Night and numerous pantomimes. Dani makes a very welcome return to Bath this Christmas after previously starring in the title role in the Theatre Royal’s 2014 pantomime Cinderella.
Dani Harmer said: “I am super excited to be back in Bath! It’s one of my favourite theatres and it’s such a gorgeous city. I can’t wait to be reunited with the wonderful Jon Monie and playing the Fairy Godmother for the first time.”
Much-loved comedian Jon Monie - author of this year’s pantomime script - returns by popular demand to play Buttons. In January 2019, Jon entered the record books when he made his 1,000th Bath pantomime appearance during the run of Peter Pan, in which he played Smee. Now marking his nineteenth Christmas show at the Theatre Royal, Jon is also an award-winning comedian and experienced TV presenter having worked on many shows for ITV and BBC. Jon also wrote the Theatre Royal Bath’s last pantomime Beauty and the Beast, winning the accolade of Best Script at the Great British Pantomime Awards in 2019, as well as starring in the show as Louis La Plonk. His recent screen credits include The Nevers for HBO, Moominvalley for Sky and Showtrial and Outlaws for BBC. This year Jon has also written the pantomime Peter Pan - The Return of Captain Hook for UK Productions and lyrics for a new musical set to tour the UK in 2022.
Jon Monie said: "I'm genuinely thrilled that Cinderella will be going to the ball in Bath this Christmas. We've got a brand-new script packed full of new jokes, new surprises and same old me. I can't wait!"
Experienced pantomime and musical theatre performers, Nic Gibney and Duncan Burt star as the Ugly Sisters. Cinderella is played by Elly Jay, whose international stage credits have seen her perform across Europe and in Japan. The role of Prince Charming is played by Josh Rose with Michael Chance as Baron Hardup and Chris Fearn as Dandini. Cinderella is directed by Hannah Starkey with choreography by Mitchell Harper and musical direction by Joshua Newport. Alongside the company of professional actors performing in Cinderella, this year’s pantomime will also feature dancers from Bath’s Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance.
Pantomime has always been an essential part of the programming mix in Bath. In November 1815, just ten years after the Theatre Royal opened, the famous Joseph Grimaldi played the clown in Mother Goose. The Maddox family pantomimes really put Bath on the panto map during their four decade tenure from the late 1930s onwards and the pantomime tradition enjoyed by families over the centuries continues today. In 2021, following 2019’s highly acclaimed pantomime Beauty and the Beast, Martin Dodd’s UK Productions return to the Theatre Royal Bath to entertain West Country audiences for the twenty-fourth year.
Martin Dodd, Producer of the pantomime Cinderella, said: “We can’t wait to get back on stage at the beautiful Theatre Royal and perform again for the fantastic audiences that come to see us every year. We have a brand new script from Jon Monie and a fabulous cast to bring it to life, along with lots of lavish and spectacular sets and costumes, so polish off your pumpkins and get out your glass slippers, we can promise you’re going to have a ball!”
The Theatre Royal Bath is delighted to welcome back MOORE as Sponsor, and is grateful for their continued support.
Cinderella appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 16th December to Sunday 9th January. Tickets are on sale at the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 and online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk