Pantomime – London 1987

1987 flyer 1

Babes in the Wood, at the London Palladium. Cannon and Ball starred as Good and Bad Robbers.

Dates and Prices

Preview dates: Dec 16th – 18th 7:30, Dec 19th 2:30 and 7:30
Opens Dec 21st 7:00
Dec 22nd, 23rd, 24th at 7:30
Dec 26th – Feb 27th except Sundays at 2:30 and 7:30

Performances to Jan 16th, plus Fri eve, Sat Matinee, Sat eve to Feb 27th
Stalls £14.50 £12.50 £10.50
Royal Circle £14.50 £12.50
Upper Circle £7.50 £6.50

Previews and Jan 18th – Feb 26th:
Stalls £12.50 £10.50 £8.50
Royal Circle £12.50 £10.50
Upper Circle £6.50 £5.50

Souvenir Brochure and Programme

A4-sized brochure A5-sized programme

Cast in order of appearance

Airy the Fairy – Barbara Windsor
Sheriff of Nottingham – Derek Griffiths
Maid Marion – Cheryl Baker
Nurse Wanda – John Inman
Robin Hood – Marti Webb
Will Scarlett – Peter Howitt
Friar Tuck – Nicholas Smith
The Bad Robber – Tommy Cannon
The Good Robber – Bobby Ball
Merry Men and Speciality Act – The Sanctus Troupe
Street Entertainers – Sue and Peter Barbour
Special Guest Star – Rod Hull and Emu

Cast picture

Townspeople, Villagers and Guards – Jason Barker, Natalie Cleverley, John Crabtree, Alison Deegan, Jenny Drummond, Mondy Hearnden, Lyndon Lloyd, Wendy Millward, Alison Richards, Kim St. James, Sara Throssell, John Tobias, Helen Tozer, Dougie Trevors, Antony Winmill, Carol Young.

Ben & Jenny the Babes
Children under 16 years of age are only allowed by the Education Authorities to appear for a limited number of performances. The parts of the children will be played in rotation by the following pupils of The Peggy O’Farrell School.

Rebecca Camilleri-Gorman, Susie Connors, Carli Cottington, Cindy Delves, Sandra Dixon, Christopher Ellett, Emily Ellett, Sara Jayne Filek, Jo Ann Firmin, Karen Glover, Kelly Glover, Danielle Gunn, Jennifer Hallett,
Zoe Howes, Shirin Hussein, Rachel John-Charles, Emma Jolly, Anthea Kazitti, Louise Ling, Kate Norton, Marina Osbourne, Nicola Penny, Adam Pickett, Zoe Pickett, Simone Reed, Zoe Reed, Hazel Rowe, Adam Searles, Natalie Searles, Nikki Shah, Adele Silver, Elizabeth Stout, Tina Williams.

Keyboard 1 – Dave Mellor
Keyboard 2 – John Price
Bass – Steve Richardson
Guitar – Ian Hawkins
Drums – Gary Lewis
Percussion – Kevin Campbell
Woodwind 1 – George Watts
Woodwind 2 – Adrian Bullers
Woodwind 3 – Terry Woodhams
Trumpet 1 – Mike Davis
Trumpet 2 – Norman Holland
Orchestral Manager = Bill Occleshaw

Act 1
Nottingham – Town Square
Somewhere In The Forest
The Schoolroom
Road to Nottingham
The Babes’ Nursery
A Clearing in The Forest
The Babes’Dream – Finale


Act 2
Nottingham Town Fair
Outside the City Walls
In The Depths of the Forest
The Castle Basement
Outside The City Walls
Sheriff’s Antechamber
The Music Lesson
The Wedding of Robin and Marion

Slapstick Routine Devised By Charlie Drake

Directed by – Michael Hurll
Designed by – Hugh Durrant
Written by – Bryan Blackburn
Choreography by – Libby Roberts
Musical Director – Mike Alexander
Lighting by – Mark Henderson
Assistant to the Designer – Guy Nicholson

Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball


To describe Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball as stars is, at the very least, an understatement. To describe them as superstars and a true phenomenon is perhaps more accurate. Since their debut TV series for London Weekend Television in 1979 they have not only become top TV stars with their own series and specials every year, but are also the biggest box-office attraction in the UK – in 1985 alone they played to over 600,000 people live through their 10-week Summer Season in Blackpool, their British tour of March and April and further record-breaking shows in Birmingham.

To have outsold not only other comedy acts, but to have outdrawn even rock superstar Bruce Springsteen, is a totally unique achievement which puts them in a category all of their own. At the Opera House in Blackpool in 1985 their 10-week run broke all previous box-office records by playing to over 300,000 people and grossing in excess of one million pounds. Their 1985/6 Christmas panto, ‘Babes In The Wood’ – their first for five years – at the Bristol Hippodrome put them into even more record books with takings in excess of £700,000. Following more record breaking seasons in Bournemouth (1986), Bradford in Panto (1986/7), and a triumphant return to Blackpool for the 1987 summer.

Their star status is further enhanced by the fact that they are the only act in showbusiness to have won three separate National Club Awards; they have enjoyed success as recording artistes with both singles and albums; starred in their own feature film The Boys In Blue and as well as triumphing in numerous newspaper popularity polls, Tommy and Bobby have also been named Showbusiness Personalities by the Variety Club off Great Britain – the highest accolade presented by their fellow professionals.

So what is the secret of this unequalled success which has also included Royal Shows, a memorable `This Is Your Life’; and a top-rated Christmas TV spectacular? Tommy and Bobby don’t go in for self-analysis. Their present day success has evolved from an initial friendship between two Oldham lads who got together to form a singing act. And it is their genuine friendship and respect for each other which is the very backbone of the Cannon and Ball story.

Robert Harper is the real name of Bobby Ball, and he and Tommy Derbyshire (now Tommy Cannon) were former workmates in a Lancashire engineering factory in the early 1960’s. By day they were welders but by night they became a singing duo called The Harper Brothers and achieved a great deal of popularity in the Northern Clubs.

It soon became evident that Bobby had a natural flair for comedy and was was complemented by Tommy’s ability to remain straight-faced and act as the perfect foil. Singing remained in their act but the comedy content grew stronger – as did their popularity.

“It got to the point where we were rehearsing our act on the factory floor”, says Tommy. “and many were the times that we were reprimanded by the foreman. Then, out of the blue, Bobby’s cousin Wally Harper, a professional comic, booked us for a week at a club in Wales. It was our first appearance outside Lancashire and the response was terrific. After that we decided to give up our daytime jobs and concentrate on showbusiness”

Their professional career now spans 20 years, but it is only in the last 16 years that they have been known as Cannon and Ball. And the name has made all the difference to their lives.

“We were getting nowhere as the Harper Brothers”, says Bobby. So one day we sat down in a dreary cafe with our manager and began slinging names at each other. I can’t remember who came up with Cannon and Ball, but we decided that those names fitted us perfectly.”

This choice of name couldn’t have been more appropriate, because their success has come from the firepower of Tommy Cannon and the sheer comedy ammunition of Bobby Ball.

And so Cannon and Ball began the hard slog to gain recognition. They built up their popularity on the club circuit and in 1975 were voted Best Comedy Duo by readers of a leading magazine. In turn that award led to their first TV booking – for the Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club. They also appeared on `Opportunity Knocks’ and managed to come only second to last in the voting.

Since then the rest is pure showbusiness history – their series and specials are always in the top TV ratings, they have played to capacity audiences not just in the UK but in Australia and the Middle East and their unique approach to comedy grows in stature with each new venture.

The over-riding factor during all their years together has been their unique friendship. They don’t try to kid anyone that they never argue. But their friendship – both on and off stage – is there for all to see.

“We have no pretensions,” says Tommy. “We’re a couple of ordinary fellas enjoying what we do best of all – entertaining folk and making them laugh. I suppose it took along time initially for us to make a major breakthrough. But we’re now glad that we have so much experience behind us. Our TV shows have made a enormous difference. Suddenly we are known by millions, and at times still find it hard to come to terms with being recognised in the street. Were not knocking it – we love it. The important thing to us is that we haven’t changed in our attitudes. We’re still Tommy and Bobby to everyone and still get a kick every time someone shouts `Rock on, Tommy” in the street.”

Both are happily married and still live close to each other in their native Lancashire. Tommy is married to Margaret and they have two daughters, Janette and Julie, and three grandchildren. Bobby’s wife’s is Yvonne and they have a daughter, Joanna, who is 16. Bobby still retains close links with his two sons Darren and Robert from his first marriage.

In their increasingly rare off-stage moments both Tommy and Bobby like to keep fit, and while Bobby prefers either to sit in solitude on a riverbank fishing or in his club called `Braces’ in Rochdale, Tommy divides his time between golf and his passion for football – he is now a working director of Rochdale FC.

And the future? In the words of both a United States President and a classic rock song – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.

Rod Hull and Emu

Rod hull and emu picture

Rod Hull and Emu are known to millions as one of this country’s finest comedy acts and television appearances over the years have attracted a great following, particularly since the now legendary appearance on the Michael Parkinson show.

Their TV series of Emu’s World for Central TV (now in its sixth year) has especially proved a great success, and it was in 1984 that the series began transmitting live, providing Rod and Emu with one of their most excifing projects to date.

The story of Emus ‘birth’ interests many people. He was ‘born’ out in Australia on a morning TV show which Rod was hosting some 17 years ago. The success that followed made Rod decide to return to the UK and bring Emu with him.

Upon his return, one of Rod’s first TV appearances was on the Royal Variety Performance of 1972 which resulted in many TV guest appearances. Success with TV audiences in fact has not only been in this country but also overseas, including Holland. Germany. France and particularly in the United States where Rod and Emu are regular guests on the Johnny Carson show.

A few Royal Variety Performances later, Rod came up with the idea of The Junior Royal Variety Show, the proceeds being donated to his favourite charity, the NSPCC.

Rod and Emu enjoyed a most successful 1985 Christmas season in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Churchil Theatre, Bromley, for which Rod completely re-wrote the traditional story, encompassing all the favourite characters in the Emus World TV series.

1986 was one of his busiest years with another TV series for Central TV followed by a 5 month engagement for Butlins Holiday Camps and also a UK theatre tour spanning 2 months.

The 1986/87 panto season saw Rod and Emu in Robinson Crusoe at Nottingham and during 1987 they recorded yet another TV series and played some very successful dates around the country during the summer.

When not appearing with Emu anywhere there is nothing Rod likes better than to spend time at home with his wife Cheryle, an accomplished artist and illustrator of Rod’s books, and his children Dannielle (19), Catrina (17), Toby (9), Amelia (7) and Oliver (6).

Unbeknown to some, Rod is also a keen writer and poet. ‘The Reluctant Poet’ is a book of poetry he has had published.

Marti Webb

Marti Webb picture

Marti Webb is now established as one of Britain’s most popular musical stars. She has been appearing in musicals most of her professional life. Some of her West End appearances include Half A Sixpence, Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Oliver, Godspell, Evita and Cats. Her major breakthrough came when she performed Tell Me on a Sunday by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black, first a number one album, then an award-winning television spectacular and finally as part of the theatrical creation, Song and Dance.

Her recording of Ben, the royalties of which were donoted to the Ben Hardwick Fund, was a huge hit for her. Since then she has made many chart appearances – one of the most frequently requested is Always There, the theme from the BBC television series Howard’s Way. Her recent albums were the highly successful Always There, which features TV themes and Gershwin, a tribute to the legendary composer.

Marti makes many cabaret appearances around the world. Next year she will be starring in Song and Dance, which embarks on a world tour including Japan, Hong Kong, Europe and North America.

John Inman


John Inman was thirteen when he started his theatrical career and appeared at the South Pier in Blackpool, his home town. Since then he has never really looked back, filling his heavy work schedule with appearances on television, in cabaret and in numerous stage productions all over Britain and abroad, and starring on London’s West End stage. Indeed, his West End debut came in the musical Ann Veronica at the Cambridge Theatre, and he has also made his mark in London starring in Salad Days, Lets Get Laid and Charley’s Aunt.

However, Johns characterisation of Mr Humphries in the long-running BBC TV series Are You Being Served? brough him to the attention of the viewing public by the million. This series has been seen all over the world, elevating John to international stardom, particularly in New Zealand and Australia where he has starred in several series of the Australian version. John regularly tours down under, appearing in cabaret, revue and theatre seasons at all the major venues.

Are You Being Served? has enjoyed outstanding success since it was first screened back in 1973 – the final scheduled series was seen in 1985. In 1976 a successful stage version of the show played summer season in Blackpool, followed a year later by a full-length film for EMI. The same year, John was chosen as the subject for This Is Your Life and was later honoured by the Variety Club of Great 8rilain as their BBC Television Personality of the Year. Shortly afterwards, he was named the Funniest Man On Television by readers of TV Times.

Besides his commitment to Are You Being Served? John Inman has appeared extensively on television, guest-starring on all the major variety shows. In 1981, he starred in the successful ITV series, Take A Letter Mr Jones.

Each winter for many years, John has appeared in pantomime. Partnered by fellow actor Barry Howard from Hi-De-Hi fame, he played one of the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella at major venues all over Britain for many years. Then in 1976 he played Mother Goose at the Wimbledon Theatre for the season which brok the theatre’s box office record. For the next eight years, he starred in Mother Goose throughout the country – Bristol (1977), Nottingham (1978), Oxford (1979), Stockport (1980), Liverpool (1982), Birmingham (1983), Bromley (1984) and in London in 1981, at the Victoria Palace. The sequence was broken in 1985 and 1986 when John starred in Aladdin, first in Stockport, followed by Wolverhampton.

During the early part of 1987, John Inman left Britain to embark on a lengthy tour of the Middle and Far East in the play My Fat Friend, and in the summer he undertook a comprehensive tour of New Zealand, starring in Pyjama Tops.

Derek Griffiths


Derek Griffiths has a wide experience in the theatre ranging from straight plays to late night revues and musicals including Sing a Rude Song (Garrick 1970), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Phoenix 1972), and Kobo in The Black Mikado (Cambridge Theatre 1975); title role in Scapine (Young Vic 1977), the Bricusse/Newley travelling Music Show (1978) and The Wiz in 1980.

A versatile and accomplished musician, he has composed and sung his songs on childrens television programmes including Playschool, Playaway, Insight, and Heads and Tails.

He is an accomplished and self-trained mime artiste – an asset which he uses in all his performances.

His adult TV programmes include Don’t Drink the Water, Back Together Again with Mary Feldman, Battle of the Sexes, Song by Song by Gershwin, London Weekends Hi Summer, The Morecambe and Wise Show, ATV’s Starburst, his own TV special for BBC entitled It’s Today, a special with Harry Secombe, Film Fun for Granada, and That’s the Limit for BBC.

His films include Up Pompeii. Up The Chastity Belt, The Garnett Saga and The End of Civilisation As We Know It.

He wrote, composed and directed his own version of Dick Whittington, in which he played King Rat. The show played to capacity at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester over Christmas 1976/7 and he has since played that other villain Abanazar in Aladdin at Guildford, Poole and Southsea. Pantomime 1982/3 was spent in Canada taking his unusual characterisation of Abanazar further afield with great success and acclaim. Panto 1983/4 was at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London recreating the role yet again and in 1984 he appeared in the Royal Variety Performance at Drury Lane. Summer 1984 was spent in Toronto playing the lead in Run for Your Wife by Ray Cooney at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Other farces include Not Now Darling at Guildford and Boucicaults Nothing to Declare at the Round House, London. He also tours his one-man show around Great Britain, playing to packed audiences of enthusiastic school children and adults.

His hobbies include playing guitar, banjo, clarinet and saxophone, photography and piloting light aircraft.

Cheryl Baker

Born on March 8th 1955, Cheryl storied singing professionally ten years ago.

During that time she was heavily in-volved with various groups in the Song For Europe Competition culminating with her successful association with Bucks Fizz in 1981.

Her success as a member of the group speaks for itself with 15 hit singles incorporating three number 1’s, five hit albums and numerous TV appearances throughout the world, not to mention several sell-out live concert tours.

Although Bucks Fizz continue to work and record together, the individual members of the group have begun to develop solo careers in a variety of different areas. Cheryl’s natural bubbly personality has always made her a popular guest on such programmes as Punchlines, Railway Carriage Game. Parlour Games. Give Us A Clue and Blankety Blank.
In 1984 she was asked by Tyne Tees to co-present the childrens’ TV show How Dare You. This involved taking part in sketches, supervising games and quite often getting covered in Gunge!
As a result of her success on this programme she was invited by LWT to co-present a new series called Saturday Six O’Clock Show with Michael Aspel. She has gone on to do many shows with LWT such as Game For A Laugh, Sunday Sunday as guest critic and Surprise Surprise.
Cheryl then presented the live links for the Friday Six O’Clock Show and hosted a magazine programme for Cable TV.
Summer ’86 was spent presenting 22 episodes of The Saturday Picture Show for the BBC. This show put her back in her favourite medium of ‘live’ television and once again gave her the opportunity to work closely with children. Her hilarious ‘cookery’ spots became quite a feature of the programme.
Christmas ’86 she starred in the title role of Central TV’s Cinderella shown on Christmas Day, firmly establishing herself as a solo performer.
1987 brings fresh projects for Cheryl and probably her busiest year yet in the fields of television and recording.
Her first solo single If Paradise is Half as Nice will be released on WEA records dur-ing August and will coincide with a special made for Granada TV called The funny-side co-hosted by Cheryl and Mike Smith.
During the autumn she teamed up with Roy Castle to co-present Record Breakers, the popular children’s series for the BBC.

Barbara Windsor


Barbara was born in Shoreditch in the East End of London, and was evacuated to the country during the war. It was here that she was introduced to ballet, tap and singing lessons. After the war she won a scholarship to a convent, but when she was not allowed to appear in pantomime, Barbara left and went to the Aida Foster stage school. Her first engagement was at the age of thirteen in the Golders Green pantomime, and her first West End show was at 14 in Love From Judy, which ran for two years. She followed this with a television series Dreamer’s Highway with Johnny Brandon, followed by a Watergate Review: Jack Jackson TV show and Six Five Special, and it was at this time she met Danny La Rue working in Winston’s Night Club. The turning point in Barbara’s career came in 1959, when she auditioned for Fings Ain’t Wot They Used To Be, which opened at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, and transferred to the Garrick Theatre where it ran for two and a half years. During this period Barbara starred in the comedy hit series The Rag Trade for the BBC, and completed her first major film role in Sparrers Can’t Sing, which was a big hit both here and in the USA, where she went on personal appearances in connection with it. It caused a sensation in the States because it was the first British film to have sub-titles due to the Cockney dialogue.

Barbara came back to England to complete Carry On Spying, her first ‘Carry On’ film. She then went back to star on Broadway on Oh What A Lovely War, and on returning she starred with Danny La Rue in Come Spy With Me at the Whitehall Theatre.

In 1970 Barbara appeared as Marie Lloyd in Sing a Rude Sing, and in 1972 she was in The Threepenny Opera at the Prince of Wales Theatre. In the same year she toured Britain in The Owl and the Pussycat with Simon Oates; then came Carry On London at the Victoria Palace, with Sid James and the gang, which ran for eighteen months. She then toured with her one woman show in New Zealand, South Africa and Great Britain and in complete contrast in 1976 she joined the Chichester Festival Company to play Maria in Twelfth Night. During the summer of 1985 Barbara toured with the play Nearest and Dearest.

Barbara has appeared inmany traditional pantomimes. She has many films to her credit, including numerous ‘Carry On’ films, and a great number of TV appearances.

With her husband Stephen, Barbara owns the Plough Inn and Windsor Restaurant near Amersham.

Peter Howitt

Peter Howitt was born in Manchester in May 1957. When he was 3 years old his father’s profession as a journalist took the family to London where Peter went to school. He became involved in school drama productions and also joined an amateur theatre company The Priory Players’ in Bob Hope’s town of Eltham. By the time he was 17 Peter was faking leading roles, and also directing and writing.

After working as a clerk in the BBC News Information Department for 2 years he enroled as a student at the Drama Studio in 1976. At the age of 20 he went to New York to direct pantomime. On his return to England, 3 years as on Entertainments manager fuelled an ambition to be a comedian – he was a dismal failure!

Peter went to Sweden ploying the lead role in No Sex Please, We’re British, He worked with Hale and Pace in the live Show Foundation at the Tramshed in Woolwich at the same time as writing for Cannon and Ball’s television show. Peter’s television credits include, Out On The Floor, Solo, Sharon And Elsie, Constant Hot Water, Emmerdale Farm, How We Used To Live and most recently, of course, 4 series of Bread playing ‘Joey Boswell’. Peter’s last panto appearance was the back end of a cow in York in 1979. (He lives in Surrey and owns a wine bar in Kent called ‘The Pink Elephant’).

Nicholas Smith

Nicholas has just celebrated thirty years as an actor, having left RADA in 1957. His last appearance in the West End was as The Mikado in the Gilbert ond Sullivan operetta and he played Doolittle in My Fair Lady at Cheltenham last year, when his singing voice was again called upon. In fact, although Nicholas has become known through his TV work-his Mr Rumbold in Are You Being Served? made him instantly recognisable – he has worked more in the theatre in recent years, appearing in such diverse plays as Romeo and Juliet, Whodunnit?, Ten Little Indians, As You Like It, St Joan, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don’t Just Lie There, Say Something, Dandy Dick, etc, etc, etc. He has been in numerous pantomimes, films, TV commercials, done a bit of cabaret and appeared in so much TV that it would take a book to list it all!

The Barbours

Sue and Peter appeared in Barnum at the London Palladium 1981/83 after which they were chosen for the German version in Berlin. They then returned to re-open the Opera House, Manchester in 1 984, followed by the Victoria Palace, culminating in making the world-wide video starring Michael Crawford, seen on BBC television at Christmas in 1986.

Peter’s first West End appearance was in variety at the London Coliseum, followed by pantomime at the Shaftesbury Theatre, the Folks Bergere Revue at the Prince of Wales, leading to Royal Variety Performances at me London Palladium and the Opera House, Blackpool.

Sue is a fourth generation member of a show business family. She was educated at the renowned Elmhurst Ballet School and can act, sing and dance. She has been a professional since the age of fourteen. Sue and Peter were jointly nominated Best Speciality Act of 1980 by the Variety Club, Jersey.

The Santus Troupe

The Santus Troupe belong to one of the oldest circus families in France, consisting of father Julien and four of his sons and their wives; Ernest (the leader} and Eva, Roland and Anne, Albert and Jill, Roger and Annemarie.

The family have appeared in venues throughout the world from Alton Towers to Israel, including a command performance for the Sultan of Oman; a year long tour of the Middle East taking in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, and were recently awarded an Oscar for their bicycle act while appearing with the British Festival Circus in Bruxelles.

Recent television appearances by the troupe have included The Circus World Championships; two spots on both the Late Late Breakfast Show and Billy Smarts Big Top Variety Show, The Night of One Hundred Stars (celebrating 100 years of Equity); on appearance before members of the Royal Family and European Heads of State in the Eurogala (at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane); plus regular appearances on two series of The Little and Large Show and on the last of The Two Ronnies series.

The Santus family have performed before Royalty on numerous occasions and were presented to The Queen and Prince Philip after their performance at the Childrens Party in Hyde Park for The Year of the Child, where Ernest Santus was delighted to discover that Her Majesty spoke fluent French.
There are eight ‘stars’ in the troupe, although the entourage is even larger; consisting of three generations, including three young children who are the 6th generation born into this circus family and who made their debut on stage with the Scottish Opera (aged 4 and 2 years respectively) while the family were on tour in a production of Turandot.

The Santus Troupe have appeared in four pantomimes to date: 1978 Manchester Opera House in Dick Whittington with Basil Brush and Frank Carson; 1979 at Wimbledon Theatre in Aladdin with Cilia Black; 1981 at Alhambra Theatre, Bradford with Little & Large and 1983 at the Birmingham Hippodrome in Jack and the Beanstalk with Jimmy Cricket, Cilla Black and Harry Worth.

Michael Hurll

Michael Hurll was educated at St. Paul’s School, where he first became interested in the theatre through the school dramatic society which included as one of its members Jonathan Miller who was later to base his Beyond The Fringe on these school productions.

In 1956 he joined the BBC in the Studio Management Department. Since then he has been working in the BBC Light Entertainment Variety Department, rising from Director/Producer to Executive Producer.

He has produced comedy and musical television shows with nearly every well known British and International artist. Comedy stars like Mike Yarwood, Ken Dodd and the Two Ronnies; and among the singers – Cliff Richard, Cilia Black, Dionne Warwick and Leo Sayer, and for the past seven years produced and directed Top of the Pops, Entertainment USA and Noel Edmonds series

He has also produced and directed BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and BPI (British Grammy Awards).

In 1987 he has produced and directed The Montreux Rock Festival for US syndication, MTV and worldwide distribution. The Two Ronnies for the Australian 9 Network and The Noel Edmonds Show for ABC Network in the U.S Also various Pop Promo’s and Rock Concert Specials.

For the past fifteen years, he has directed pantomimes throughout the country with star names including Cilla Black, The Krankies, Little and Large, and for the past three years – Cannon and Ball

Hugh Durrant

Hugh Durrant is one of Britain’s most respected designers. Since graduating in Fine Arts at Cambridge University he has been associated with almost every aspect of theatre, writing, adapting and directing as well as designing. His sets and costumes have been seen in four continents in productions ranging from Sophocles to Ayckbourn, with particular emphasis on Shakespeare and Sha1w; but recently his name has been mostly associated with spectacular decors for musicals and pantomimes. These include The Mikado and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers in the West End, A Little Night Music and Company (both for Triumph Apollo, for whom he also designed the critically-acclaimed Amadeus), and the European premieres of Mack and Mabel and Lady In The Dark. This is the second time he has designed the Palladium pantomime and is tne first time since the war a single designer has been responsible for both sets and costumes. Other pantomime designs have been seen all over the country. His interest in dance is reflected in works for the Royal Ballet, Ballet Rambert, the Nederlands Dans Theater, and most recently, Wayne Sleep’s Hot Shoe Show, again at the London Palladium. His paintings are in collections on both sides of the Atlantic. Hugh now combines his theatrical commissions with fashion, creating six ready-to-wear collections a year and a couture range.

Libby Roberts

Libby Roberts trained at The Arts Educational Trust Theatre School. Her dance experience includes ‘The Second Generation’, ‘The Love Machine’, ‘Hot Gossip’ and ‘Hills Angels’, plus numerous TV credits such as The Benny Hill Show, Little and Large, International Pop Proms, Mike Yarwood Show, Julie Andrews Christmas Special, to name but a few.

Libby appeared as a hostess on YTV’s 3.2.1 with Ted Rogers for 2 years and it was here she had her first break as a choreographer. She formed a dance group ‘Lipstick’ who became 3 2 1’s resident dancers This was followed by a year with Channel 4’s Unforgettable 4 series for Benny Hill, The Jim Davidson Show, and a special for W.D.R. TV in Berlin. She has also choreographed sequences in 2 films Whoops Apocalypse and The Fruit Machine, and enjoyed great success with a Trade Production for Walt Disney in Copenhaqen. More recently she choreographed Wizbit, a childrens series with Paul Daniels for the BBC, and is currently filming two new specials for Benny Hill.

Libby is no newcomer to pantomime, this is her third major production with Cannon & Ball.

Bryan Blackburn

Bryan Blackburn is Television’s busiest comedy writer. His current writing credits for recent ‘Specials’ and T.V. Series include Russ Abbot, Jim Davidson, Jimmy Tarbuck, Des O’Connor, The Copycats, Cleo Laine, Ronnie Corbett, The Krankies, Les Dennis, Cilla Black, Mike Yarwood and The Two Ronnies.

Bryan wrote Cannon and call s ‘Sit-Com Series, and has written their London Palladium Pantomime, along with other Pantos up and down the Country for: Su Pollard, Jimmy Cricket, Marti Caine, and Danny La Rue.
Bryan has written several ‘Top Ten’ hit songs, including “Love Is Blue,” “Don’t Stay Away Too Long” and “Welcome Home.” His songs have been recorded by, among others: Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Crystal Gayle, and Nana Mouskouri.

He recently returned from a seven-year stint in Hollywood, U.S.A., where he was an Executive Script Consultant at Universal Studios, writing material for such stars as Bob Hope, Joan Rivers and Alan King.

Peter Elliott

Peter is celebrating forty years in show business this very year and is delighted to be the Executive Producer of this year’s London Palladium Pantomime.

Having started in the business as a dancer, he joined a comedy double act, this he did for many years. Peter then joined the agency side of the business in the mid-sixties, where he managed, for many years, the very popular television star Dick Emery and a host of other stars.

Peter produced his first pantomime in the early 70’s, with John Inman as Mother Goose at the Wimbledon Theatre. The show played every major theatre in the country for the next twelve years. Apart from this hugely successful pantomime, Peter has presented and produced pantomimes with every major star in Great Britain and in every major venue.

His other activities include, Councillor and Scribe Rat of the Grand Order of Water Rats, alongside his commitments with the production team for the Royal Variety Performance.

Louis Benjamin

As President of Britain’s leading theatre group – Stoll Moss Theatres – Louis Benjamin is responsible for 12 major West End theatres, including the London Palladium and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, with a total seating capacity of nearly 15,000. He is also the man whose policy over recent years has restyled the shape of top international entertainment in the main West End theatres. Anticipating new trends by making theatres in his group multi-purpose he has, in the case of the London Palladium, successfully guided its return to world status in terms of top-name concert and variety attractions and particularly with big-scale record-musicals such as The King and I with Yul Brynner, Barnum starring Michael Crawford, Singin’ In the Rain with Tommy Steele and La Cage Aux Foiles with Denis Quilley and George Hearn. As a hobby he has headed numerous charity galas, including the Royal Variety Performance. He also founded the annual Children’s Royal Variety Performance in aid of the NSPCC and instituted the music industry’s main yearly charity event, the British Phonogram Industry Annual Dinner. A Companion of the Ancient Order of Water Rats – light entertainment’s greatest honour – Louis Benjamin started his showbusiness career in 1937 and for many years was Chairman of Pye Records. He was also a founder member of ATV Music. A dedicated family man, he is married to former dancer Vicky and has two daughters, Reica and Diane.

Duncan C. Weldon and Jerome Minskoff

The Chairman and Managing Director of Triumph Theatre Productions Limited is Duncan C Weldon and he has been responsible for over 125 productions in the West End of London. These include Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of Three Sisters, Glenda Jackson in Stevie, Hedda Gabler and Strange Interlude, Ingrid Bergman and Wendy Hiller in Waters of the Moon, Paul Scofield in A Family, Penelope Keith in The Millionairess and Hobson’s Choice, Joan Collins in The Last of Mrs Cheyney, Maggie Smith in Virginia and The Way of the World, Deborah Kerr in Overheard, Rex Harrison and Diana Rigg in Heartbreak House, Peter Ustinov in Beethoven’s Tenth, Alan Bates in A Patriot for Me, Omar Sharif in The Sleeping Prince, Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Reeve in The Aspern Papers, Albert Finney in Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance, Rex Harrison end Claudette Colbert in Aren’t We All?, Al Pacino in American Buffalo and Anthony Hopkins in The Lonely Road. In 1986 Jerome Minskoff joined the Company as co-owner, co-producer and Vice Chairman, since when the Company has presented Charlton Heston and Ben Cross in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Liv Ullman in Old Timers, Lauren Bacall in Sweet Bird of Youth, Maggie Smith and Edward Fox in Interpreters, Peter O’Toole in The Apple Cart, Glenda Jackson in Across From the Garden of Allah, Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton in Anthony & Cleopatra and The Taming of the Shrew, Faye Dunaway in Circe & Bravo, Jack Lemmon in Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Judi Dench and Michael Williams in Mr & Mrs Nobody. Most recently they have presented Derek Jacobi in Breaking the Code, Alan Bates in Melon and Groucha A Life in Revue with Frank Ferrante and Les Marsden. In the United States Jerome Minskoff has presented Irene, Can-Can, Noises Off, Big Deal, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Sweet Charity. Also on Broadway he has co-presented with Triumph Theatre Productions the Tony Award-nominated Strange Interlude, with Glenda Jackson Aren’t We All? with Rex Harrison and Claudette Colbert, Ian McKellen in Wild Honey, Richard Chamberlain in Blithe Spirit, Peter O’Toole and John Mills in Pygmalion and they are currently presenting Derek Jacobi in Breaking the Code He is Governor of the League of American Theatres and Producers, a board member of the Alvin Alley Dance Company and of the Friends of the Theatre Collection at the Museum of the City of New York, and the owner of the Minskoff Theatre. Duncan C. Weldon and Jerome Minskoff are currently presenting in London the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Kiss Me, Kafe at the Old Vic, A Mon For All Seasons with Charlton Heston at the Savoy and You Never Can Tell with Michael Hordern and Irene Worth at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Their next production at the Theatre Royal Haymarket will be Eugene O’Neill’s A Touch of the Poet with Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton.