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Panto Launch – oh yes it is!

Dan Winston

It may be August and we are all still waiting for that elusive British summer, but the launch of this year’s panto will soon be upon us.   Today sees Blackpool’s Stanley Park host a free family fun day in the run-up to the launch of this year’s Grand panto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In addition to lots of free exciting fun things for families to do on the day, including an amazing bouncy castle, free giveaways and more, there will also be a fancy dress competition for the children.  All they have to do is to come dressed as their favourite fairytale character to be in with a chance of winning a family ticket to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  Plus you can meet all the stars of this year’s pantomime.

Su Pollard, who is best known for playing chalet maid Peggy Ollerenshaw in the classic TV series Hi De Hi!, has performed on the Grand Theatre’s stage on several occasions.  She appeared in the 2008 production of Shout! Alongside Claire Sweeney and took on the role of Miss Haversham in the 2011 production of Annie.  In addition to her roles in sitcoms Hi de Hi!, You Rang M’Lord, and Oh Doctor Beeching! Su has also had a UK No 2 hit with the song Starting Together and also released her album The Collection in 2001.  In more recent years she has appeared in Benidorm and Loose Women and several stage productions including Menopause the Musical, Romeo and Juliet and The Vagina Monologues.

Local lad Dan Whiston is best known for his appearances on ITV’s Dancing on Ice.  He took part as a professional skater in the show for all nine series.  He is the most decorated professional on the show after he and his partners were named Dancing on Ice Champions on three occasions.  Dan, who was born in Poulton, began his career as a skater at the tender age of seven.   He spent most of his early years at the Pleasure Beach’s Ice Arena.  He trained professionally with Phil Winston in all areas of performance including dance, drama and singing.  His career highlights include performances in many popular shows including Hot Ice, Holiday on Ice with Robin Cousins, touring North America and Strictly Come Dancing on Ice.   He has also performed at the Royal Variety Performance, alongside Coldplay at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony, and was an associate choreographer at the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies that year.

Panto veteran, comedian, actor and writer Steve Royle is now in his 12th year of Grand Theatre panto!  For over 12 years he could be seen in the guise of Mad Edgar the court jester at Camelot theme park.  His many TV appearances include Pheonix Nights, Max and Paddy and Stand-up Britain to name just a few.

Panto at The Grand is always a fantastic treat for the whole family, so why not celebrate early with a trip to Stanley Park for this fantastic, free Family Fun Day.

The event will be held at Stanley Park bandstand from 1pm to 3pm on Friday 21 August.

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