Pantomime – Nottingham 2001


Aladdin, at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. Cannon and Ball starred as the Chinese Policemen.


Programme Programme



JAFAR: Maurice Thorogood
GENIE: Peter Piper
WIDOW TWANKEY: Michael Sharvell-Martin
ALADDIN: Tricia Penrose
EMPRESS: Lynda Radford
PRINCESS: Fiona Wade
SO-SHY: Andrea Baylee

CITIZENS OF PEKING: Melanie Orchard, Christina Chong,
Hayley Reed, Steven Butler, Stephen Webb

JUVENILES: Central Stage School







WARDROBE: Lesley Benfield



Lighting Equipment supplied by STAGE ELECTRICS
Dry Ice supplied by: ICE COOLING
Flying by: FOY
Sound Equipment supplied by: MACSOUND
Sound Designer: PAUL DELANEY
Sound Operator: JAYSON GRAY

BBC Interview

The following interview appeared on the BBC Nottingham Website.

This year Cannon and Ball are performing in the East Midland’s biggest pantomime – at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal. They took time out from their hectic schedule to meet the online team and tell us about their lives, their faith … and what they think about the rest of the pantomime’s cast.


Bobby Ball said: “Oh it’s great we’ve worked with them all before, they’re all friends. We’ve got Peter Piper who plays a genie, Maurice Thorogood, who’s been with us for years, he plays the baddy”.

“He’s brilliant Maurice”, adds Tommy Cannon.

Bobby : “And there’s Tricia Penrose (from Heartbeat), she was with us last year and played the Princess, she’s playing Aladdin this year. So I think that she has had a bit of a shock I don’t think that she realised how much she had too do.”

Look out too for a special guest appearance from Sooty.

How did you get your name?
Bobby : “Tommy actually took his name from an old rock and roller”

Tommy “I did, Freddie Cannon, ‘Tallahassee Lassie’, yeah I loved him. So I said I’ll be called Cannon. And that’s how we started to formulate the name. It took us a long time to get Ball though”

Bobby : “Me and Tommy before we made it were 15 years going around, and really had nothing, and when you make it suddenly you have got everything. You’ve got a lot of people telling you how good you are, and your ego just takes over.

Falling Out
We fell out because Tommy thought that he was the main one of the act, and I thought that I was the main one of the act. And he should have known that it was me!”

Tommy: “And he should have know that it was me!”…laughs

Bobby: “It was a strain. For 4 years we hadn’t really got on, and spoke proper, and every time we finished the show we never walked out of the stage door together, always separate. And imagine after 4 years coming to me one morning just before the afternoon performance and saying Tommy I hope that you don’t mind me saying this to you but I’ve now got Jesus in my life.”

Bobby : “I had everything and it were a guy who just came and spoke to me really, and he made a lot of sense and this fellow had a lot of peace that I didn’t have, because I was very ambitious and drinking a lot and all this caper and I wanted what he had. And I started thinking about it and I got a faith.

“It did change my life totally and I started to look at Tommy in a different way, and instead of seeing his bad points I started to see his good points. And my attitude changed towards him and slowly we got friendlier and friendlier again and 7 years later Tommy got a faith, and now we are just closer than ever.

“The only thing is Tommy keeps asking me questions, cos I’ve been a Christian longer than him. He asked me the other day “are the Epistles the wife of the apostles?” which I found very difficult to answer.

“Then the other one was ‘Was Joan of Arc, Noah’s wife?’…Laughs.

“When you come to the pantomime we won’t be singing any hymns you’ll be all right.”

Tommy : “and you won’t have to sit in a pew.”…Laughs.

Performance Dates and Prices


Thurs 6 Dec 7.15 Preview
Fri 7 Dec 7.15 Press Night
Sat 8 Dec 2.00 and 7.15
Sun 9 Dec 2.00 and 7.15
Mon 10 Dec 1.30 and 7.15
Tues 11 Dec No Performances
Wed 12 Dec 1.30 and 7.15
Thurs 13 Dec 1.30 and 7.15
Fri 14 Dec 1.30 and 7.15
Sat 15 Dec 2.00* and 7.15*
Sun 16 Dec 2.00 and 5.30*
Mon 17 Dec 1.30 and 7.15
Tues 18 Dec No Performances
Wed 19 Dec 1.30 and 7.15
Thurs 20 Dec 1.30 and 7.15
Fri 21 Dec 1.30 and 7.15
Sat 22 Dec 2.00* and 7.15*
Sun 23 Dec 2.00* and 5.30*
Mon 24 Dec 2.00* and 5.30*
Tues 25 Dec No Performances
Wed 26 Dec 2.00* and 7.15*
Thurs 27 Dec 2.00* and 7.15*
Fri 28 Dec 2.00* and 7.15*
Sat 29 Dec 2.00* and 7.15*
Sun 30 Dec 2.00* and 5.30*
Mon 31 Dec 2.00* and 5.30*
Tues 1 Jan No Performances
Wed 2 Jan 2.00* and 7.15*
Thurs 3 Jan 2.00* and 7.15*
Fri 4 Jan 2.00* and 7.15*
Sat 5 Jan 2.00* and 7.15*
Sun 6 Jan 2.00 and 5.30
Mon 7 Jan No Performances
Tues 8 Jan 1.30 and 7.15
Wed 9 Jan 1.30 and 7.15
Thurs 10 Jan 1.30 (Signed) and 7.15
Fri 11 Jan 1.30 and 7.15 (Signed)
Sat 12 Jan 2.00* and 7.15*
Sun 13 Jan 2.00 and 5.30
Mon 14 Jan No Performances
Tues 15 Jan 1.30 and 7.15
Wed 16 Jan 1.30 and 7.15
Thurs 17 Jan 1.30 and 7.15
Fri 18 Jan 1.30 and 7.15
Sat 19 Jan 2.00* and 7.15*
Sun 20 Jan 3.00
Full Concession
Stalls £15, £12.50 £12, £10
Dress Circle £15 £12
Upper Circle £11 £9
Balcony £8 £8

Concessionary prices for Children, Over 60s, Job Seekers Allowance, Students, Registered Disabled. Concessions do not apply to performances marked *.

Programme Articles

Programme pictureCannon and Ball

Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball are one of Britaisn funniest and most successful double acts. In a career spanning over 30 years they have achieved a string of honours that includes them among the all-time greats in show-business.

On television they have starred in their own series practically evey year since 1979. They have also ‘guested’ on all the major shows including Wogan, Parkinson, Des O’Connor, Sunday Night at the Palladium, and several Royal Variety Shows. They featured in a BBC documentary Funny Business which also included footage of comedy legends Martin and Lewis, Laurel and Hardy and Morecambe and Wise.

To add to their pedigree they remain the only act to have won three seperate National Club Awards and be named as the variety club’s ‘Personalities of the Year’. Thier feature film The Boys In Blue, in addition to its cinema success, has gone on to become a video best seller. The boys have also been the subject of This is Your Life!

During the 1970’s they built a strong reputation around the UK cabaret club circuit for being a great live act. They also toured extensively in the hotel circuits of Australia and South Africa. Tom and Bob have broken records in theatres all over the UK, including London. In 1981 they played a six week season at the Dominion Theatre. Every seat was sold before the show opened, and in 1988 their pantomime Babes in the Wood broke all previous pantomime records at the world-famous London Palladium, where Cannon and Ball created the record for the largest box office amount taken in one week in British theatre history.

Rock with Laughter 96 fulfilled Tommy and Bobby’s ambition to star in their own Rock ‘n’ Roll spectacular, their first summer season for producers Qdos Entertainment plc, formerly AMG.

After an extensive Autumn tour and a trip to Israel, the boys played the Chinese Policemen in Aladdin at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, and again at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton.

They have appeared on many major TV shows including The Des O’Connor Show, Noel Edmonds House Party, Talking Telephone Numbers and The Generation Game.

In the spring of 1999 the boys appeared at various theatres across the country starring in An evening at the Music Hall whilst continuing their tour of An Audience With.

The boys played to full houses during their summer season in 1999 at the Blackpool Grand Theatre, the season was one of the most successful summers Blackpool has ever had!

The 1999/2000 pantomime season saw the boys play the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent for the production Cinderella, co-starring Melinda Messanger and Britt Ekland.

The early part of 2000 saw the boys starring and touring in various shows throughout the UK’s theatres. Summer season 2000 featured the successful Comedy Bonanza show (which broke box-office records) at Torquay and Bournemouth. Tommy and Bobby spend Christmas in Bradford starring in Aladdin alongside Tricia Penrose and Khulvindar Ghir.

Even after nearly 30 years of making people laugh, Tommy and Bobby are still enjoying every minute and are looking forward to entertaining for many years to come.

Programme pictureTricia Penrose

Tricia has played the role of Gina Ward in Heartbeat since 1992.

Tricia first found fame at the age of 14 starring as Damon Grant’s girlfriend in Brookside. She then appeared in Boon for Central Television, and further acting roles included Split Ends and How to Be Cool for Granada Television. Cresta Run for Park Village, Katy’s Story for WDR Germany, Isn’t Life a Pain for S4C Wales and Help for the BBC

Tricias most recent television work includes roles in hit programmes such as Medics, Emmerdale and Coronation Street. She also appeared in Terraces for the BBC and Coasting for Granada Television, and in a special feature for This Morning With Richard and Judy called ‘Pardon My French’.

Tricia had a fantastic time appearing a Lisa Stansfield in Granada Television’s Celebrity Starts in Their Eyes, and her performance attracted over 17 million viewers!

Tricia has extensive musical experience. Before joining the Heartbeat cast she fronted a band that toured the club circuit, and she often performs at charity events and corporate nights. Tricia’s cover version of the Supremes classic ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, as featured on Heartbeat, was a hit single in December 1996, and she would love to pursue the musical side of her career further.

The 1998/99 pantomime season saw Tricia play the lead in Snow White at the Tameside Hippodrome, a role she reprised for the 1999/2000 season at Billingham Forum Theatre. Last Christmas she played the Princess in Aladdin at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford. She is delighted to be taking the title role in this production of Aladdin at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham.

Programme pictureMaurice Thorogood

Maurice was a television film editor before winning a scholarship to RADA where, as an honours graduate, he won the Ronson Award.

From acting and directing in children’s theatre, he moved into repertory. Theatre appearances include Relative Values (opposite Anna Neagle), My Giddy Aunt (Mollie Sugden), Pyjama Tops and Bedside Manners (John Inman). Favourite roles are Frank (Educating Rita), Owen (Clouds), Heathcliffe (Wuthering Heights) and Dracula (title role). In summer 1996 he appeared in Same Time Next Year and the Tilting Ground premiere at the Mowlem Theatre, Swanage.

Film and television include The Bitch, The Jigsaw Man, Up the Elephant and Round the Castle, Let There Be Love, Grandad and Rentaghost. In 1994 he filmed The House That Mary Bought (Susan George) and The Way to Dusty Death (mini-series). He also works as a voice-over artist on many TV and radio projects, one of which was History’s Mysteries for the Discovery Channel. Maurice worked with Michael Caine in the feature film Shadow Run and more recently appeared in the popular television series Heartbeat.

Maurice recently completed a summer season of Run for Your Wife, playing Sgt Troughton, at the Mill at Sonning. He has appeared in pantomime with Frankie Howerd, and played villain roles in Dick Whittington, Aladdin, Babes in the Wood (two seasons with Cannon and Ball), Robinson Crusoe (four seasons with David Essex), and played an Ugly Sister in Cinderella at the Grand Theatre, Swansea. Maurice has directed and appeared in Dick Whittington at the Lewisham Theatre, The Three Bears at Reading and Robin Hood at Darlington. For the last two seasons he returned to the Alhambra where he appeared in Dick Whittington (1999) and Aladdin (2000).

During the summer of 2000, Maurice directed and appeared in Let’s Go Pantomime and Hot Chef shows for Haven Holidays parks. He has his own multimedia production company, Splice productions, and throughout the year has been directing promotion videos for Jay Jay the Aeroplane

Programme pictureMichael Sharvell-Martin

Michael is probably best known for his portrayal of Trevor, the sherry-drinking neighbour in BBC TV’s No Place Like Home. He has appeared in a wide range of popular television shows including Casualty, The Dave Allen Show, Yes Minister, Two Ronnies, Terry and June, Are You Being Served?, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Dad’s Army, The Benny Hill Show, Mike Yarwood, Little and Large and The Kenny Everett Show. As well as these credits he also recently appeared in The Alexei Sayle Show, Murder Most Horrid, Close Relations, Prince Among Men and Out of Sight for Carlton.

Theatre includes Twelth Night, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Lady Windemere’s Fan, Middle Age Spread, The Secretary Bird, What The Butler Saw, Don’t Rock The Boat and A Bedfull of Foreigners for the Mill at Sonning. He has also toured with Derek Nimmo’s Company to the Far East and Middle East in Don’t Dress for Dinner and Absurd Person Singular.

Michael’s West End appearances include When Did You Last See Your Trousers? at the Garrick and Don’t Dress for Dinner at the Duchess Theatre.

For the last twenty-five years ha has shaved off his moustache and played Dame in pantomimes such as Aladdin in Oxford and Lincoln, Cinderella in Wimbledon, Stoke, Richmond and Newcastle, Goldilocks and The Three Bears in Canada, Bournemouth and Newcastle, Dick Whittington in Bristol and Bournemouth, Mother Goose in Chichester, and will be seen next Christmas as Widow Twankey in Aladdin in Bradford.

He collects theatrical memorabilia concerning Henry Irvine and Ellen Terry and he is chairman of the Irving Society.

Programme picturePeter Piper

Few entertainers make the cross-over from comedy to serious acting; even fewer make that cross-over on the other side of the Atlantic.

Peter, born in Cheshire, cut his teeth travelling the Northern circuit of working men’s clubs. A spontaneously funny man and accomplished singer with a natural flair for dancing, he headlined two seasons in VIVA at the Horseshoe Showbar, Blackpool.

After co-starring in ITV’s 5 Alive, which won the New York Festival of Comedy award and completing his third series as special guest on The Ron Lucas Show for Thames TV, he emigrated to Los Angeles for five years, having signed a ‘holding deal’ with Lorimar Television.

Roles in various primetime TV series such as Party of Five, The Martin Short Show and Tarzan, coupled with numerous appearances in US commercials including McDonalds, Burger King and Sensodyne, created a groundswell of interest in Peter’s natural acting abilities. This culminated in the filming of 22 episodes of the worldwide syndicated TV series, Acapuko H.E.A. 77, which was shot over 12 months on location in Mexico and has proven so popular that it is currently being aired throughout the United States for the fourth time. Working as a voice-over artist for Disney and Paramount Films, his credits include Black Beauty, Patriot Games 1 & 2 and Pocahontas. This has established Peter as a measured commodity in the Hollywood acting fraternity!

He returned home to marry, and is now set to establish himself as a prolific actor on British soil whilst maintaining his roots in comedy. This last eight months he has recorded Stand and Deliver-a. half hour, one-man show for Sky TV, 4 Episodes of Pull the Other One for Carlton TV, and has just been voted Top UK Entertainer by Thomson Holidays after a successful summer working across Europe. Peter was pleased to appear on the final New Year episode of Talking Telephone Numbers for Carlton UK, for which he received great acclaim.

He recently starred with Shane Richie in the national tour of Boogie Nights.

Programme pictureFiona Wade

Fiona trained at Bodens in Enfield, Middlesex, and has many professional credits behind her. Starting as a supporting artist in the popular series Grange Hill for BBC Television, Fiona later successfully auditioned for a leading role, Joanna Day. She then played this role for three years.

Other television work includes Boot Street Band, The Broom Cupboard, Live and Kicking for the BBC and Sky Digital’s (don’t blink or you’ll miss me) commercial. Theatre credits include: Princess Jasmine in for Paul Hammond Productions; Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane; Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Palace Theate, Redditch; the title role in Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Stratford; Maria in West Side Story and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford; Princess in Aladdin at the Malvern Festival Theatre and Jasmin in Inner City Jam at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Fiona returned to television earlier this year to record 13 episodes as Anya in 24 Seven for Granada Television.

Lynda Radford

Lynda trained at the Drama Studio, London and has appeared as a cabaret artist all over the world. Over the last decade she has spent a lot of time cruising for P&O on the Canberra, Victoria, Arcadia and Oriana and for Cunard on board the QE2.

Theatre credits include a national tour of Day at Night, Big Girls at Wimbledon Theatre, Little Match Girl at Trinity Arts Centre, a musical  tribute to Doris Day as well as several pantomimes. Lynda appeared in her one-woman show Subversive at Jermyn Street Theatre followed by a performance at Pizza on the Park, and recently in Caramba at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Lynda has released two albums and a single. Her latest album, Subversive, has just been released.

Programme pictureAndrea Baylee

Andrea discovered dancing at the age of three.  She graduated from Performers College in 1996, and then appeared with The Lily Savage Show in Blackpool.

The past few years have been very busy for Andrea, first as Assistant Choreographer for the dancing routines for the in-house shows at Haven Holiday Centre and also touring in the musical Annie. Summer 1997 was spent between Torquay and Weymouth as a member of the successful pop group Girlzone, appearing in The Joe Pasquale Show.

In 1998 Andrea travelled the world aboard P & O’s MV Arcadia as a member of the Stadium Theatre Company, after which her travels took her to places as far apart as the Falkland Islands, Australia, America and Ireland. This year Andrea has been touring the South playing both Fairy and Prince Charming in Qdos Entertainment’s touring summer pantomimes.

Television credits include a feature role in Sky One’s Dream Team; The Bill (ITV); The Knock (ITV); promo for Nickelodeon TV; A Touch of Frost (Yorkshire TV); The Big Breakfast (Channel 4); Talking Telephone Numbers. Andrea has appeared in many pantomimes for Qdos. Previous pantomimes include Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and last year in Stoke playing the part of Wendy in Peter Pan.

Programme pictureChris Baldock

Chris began his career as a successful dancer, appearing in many TV shows and theatre productions, not only in the West End but throughout Europe too.

In 1990, he was Assistant Choreographer on the musical The Hunting of the Snark at the Prince Edward Theatre, London. After the show opened, he soon built up a reputation as a choreographer and was approached by numerous record companies to work with artists such as Eternal, Kim Wilde, Worlds Apart, Michelle Gayle, Denise Van Outen, Phats and Small and most recently The Alice Band.

Subsequently Chris continues to choreograph and direct various shows which have included Russ Abbot’s Summer Spectacular at the Bournemouth BIC, A Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Blackpool’s North Pier season with Su Pollard, Les Dennis and Roy Walker, Prisoner: Cell Block H- The Musical with Lily Savage. He also staged Starlight Express for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 50th birthday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall.

Other theatre credits include pantomimes such as Newcastle Theatre Royal with Cannon and Ball, Wimbledon Theatre with Danny La Rue and Brighton’s Theatre Royal with Julian Clary to name a few.

He also choreographed and directed the acclaimed Rhythms of the Celts which opened the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. After the successful run, the show later transferred to the Edinburgh Playhouse in time for the Festival.

Chris has worked on many television shows including Top of the Pops, Des O’Conner Show, Noels’ House Party, The Mobo Awards, Barrymore 2000, Michael Barrymore’s My Kind of Music, Jane MacDonald’s Star for a Night and most recently he appeared on the very popular Faking It on Channel 4.

As well as this busy schedule of choreographing and directing, he recently completed a seven-year reign as Resident Director of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit show Starlight Express at the Apollo Theatre, London.

Programme pictureRick Coates

During a varied career Rick has been privileged enough to work with a whole host of household names in theatre and television.

His work also includes writing incidental music for radio and television and involvement in the musicals including Annie, Les Miserable^, Cats, Summer Holiday and the 70s’ musical Oh! What a Night.

Rick has been Musical Director on many pantomimes and summer seasons, the

Granada TV series Live From the Lilydrome, and has twice conducted the orchestra for the annual Lord Delfont gala tribute concert at the Blackpool Opera House. Most recently he has been making the Friday Whiteley chat show at Yorkshire Television.

Rick is a keen windsurfer and likes to spend his spare time playing golf and tennis and watching his local football team, Blackpool Mechanics FC.

Graham McLusky

Graham McLusky works as a freelance lighting designer from his home town of Lincoln. His theatre work includes a variety of productions, concerts, musicals, pantomimes, comedies and plays.  He has lost count of the total number of shows but over 350 to date would be a reasonable estimate!  Graham has worked on productions throughout the British Isles, London’s West End, Canada, the USA and on Broadway.

Graham lit the smash hit musical Buddy, currently at the Strand Theatre, London, and Fame at the Cambridge Theatre, London.

Graham also operates a multimedia firm developing presentations and web sites for businesses throughout the UK. His firm also provides conference and exhibition design and production services.

He is a member of the Association of Lighting Designers.