The stars of this year’s must-see Orchard Theatre pantomime proved it’s never too early to prepare for the Royal Ball by getting into the festive spirit by launching this year’s spell-binding show, Cinderella, which opens on Saturday 9 December 2017 starring Louie Spence and Michelle Collins.
Pineapple Dance Studios’ Louie Spence (Dandini) and television star Michelle Collins (The Wicked Stepmother) were joined by Jayne Wisener (Cinderella) and Luke Kelly (Prince Charming) at nearby Acacia Hall to meet group bookers of this year’s pantomime and bring some early festive season cheer to proceedings.
Television personality, presenter and choreographer Louie Spence pirouetted into the nation’s consciousness thanks to the overwhelming success of Sky One’s Pineapple Dance Studios and Louie Spence’s Showbusiness, solidifying Louie’s reputation as an expert on all things dance. In addition to his television experience Louie has enjoyed an extensive stage career appearing in Miss Saigon and Cats and danced alongside Take That and the Spice Girls. Louie will play The Prince’s loyal manservant, Dandini. No stranger to pantomime, Cinderella marks his eighth foray into the genre, bringing with him the high kicks and high jinks he’s best known for.
In addition to fronting television shows for Sky One Louie has appeared as a judge on ITV1’s Dancing on Ice and was a housemate in the 12th series of Celebrity Big Brother. Most recently Louie took part in The Jump for Channel 4 and Tour de Celeb, a gruelling cycling-based reality series which saw him tackle the toughest stage of the Tour de France on a 140km ordeal.
Michelle Collins made her television debut alongside Gary Oldman in Morgan’s Boy before going on to appear in numerous primetime programmes including Real Women, Sunburn, The Sleeper, Two Thousand Acres of Skye, the Emmy and BAFTA award-winning The Illustrated Mum and Doctor Who. Michelle also appeared in the feature films Personal Services opposite Julie Walters, Empire State and Stephen Poliakoff’s Hidden City. Having been spotted on television by BBC producers Michelle was asked to audition for the popular soap EastEnders and won the role of Cindy Beale, originally intended to appear in just eleven episodes. Michelle’s portrayal quickly proved popular with soap executives and viewers alike and played the role of the villainous, seral-adulterer for over ten years, an integral character to numerous high-profile storylines cementing her reputation as one of the UK’s best-loved actresses.
Since leaving EastEnders Michelle swapped the Queen Vic for a different pub, to take up her role as Stella Rice, landlady of Coronation Street’s infamous Rovers Return. Michelle played the role for over two years before appearing in Casualty in a guest-starring role, Death in Paradise and Midsomer Murders. Later this year Michelle will also be seen starring in the BAFTA award winning CBBC show The Dumping Ground.
Jayne Wisener (Cinderella) made her professional screen debut as Johanna opposite Johnny Depp in the Tim Burton directed musical adaptation of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street aged just 19, which was seen by millions of cinemagoers.
Following her graduation from the Scottish Royal Academy of Music and Drama Jayne went on to make her professional stage debut in the highly-acclaimed production of Parade at the Donmar Warehouse in London’s West End, starred as Lauren in Channel 4’s comedy The Inbetweeners, appeared in The Secret Garden at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and in numerous pantomimes, including the role of Cinderella in last year’s production staged by Qdos Entertainment at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.
Luke Kelly’s theatre credits include Darren in I Went to a Fabulous Party, Scotty in Ten Steps to Heaven, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Ensemble and Cover Steven in She Loves Me, Leading Male in Back To Broadway, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Steve Edwards in Babes In Arms, Baptista in Kiss Me, Kate, Bobby/Rob Hood in Curtains and Supernumerary in Whistle Down The Wind. Luke reprises his role as Prince Charming opposite Louie Spence having starred alongside him in Cinderella at Wycombe Swan in 2016.
Cinderella will be staged by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and the company behind the theatre’s previous record-breaking productions of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Dick Whittington. Cinderella features the Orchard Theatre hallmark of outstanding entertainment for theatregoers of all ages.