Pantomime – Stoke 1999

1999 flyer

Cinderella, at the Stoke Regent Theatre. Cannon and Ball starred as The Broker’s Men.


Cast (in order of appearance)
Fairy Godmother – Britt Ekland
Cinderella – Melinda Messenger
Buttons – Fogwell Flax
Postman Pat – As Himself
Sharon – Richard Pocock
Tracey – William Elliott
Baroness Camilla – Michael Sharvell-Martin
The Broker’s Men – Cannon and Ball
Dandini – Matthew J. Shaw
Prince Charming – Keiron Cook
Villagers / Guests at Ball – Sophie Jakubowska, Katie Turner, Suzanne Bullock, Rebecca Lisewski, Jason Webb, Craig Turbyfield, Rahman Enathally, Anthony Frazer
Juveniles – Jill Clewes Performing Arts

Act One

Prologue  – Fairyland
Scene One – The Village
Scene Two – The Palace Courtyard
Scene Three – Outside Hardup Hall
Scene Four – The Woods
Scene Five – Inside Hardup Hall
Scene Six – The Kitchen at Hardup Hall
Scene Seven – On the Way to The Ball

Act Two

Scene One – The Palace Ballroom
Scene Two – A Road from The Palace
Scene Three – Outside Hardup Hall
Scene Four – The Kitchen at Hardup Hall
Scene Five – Outside Hardup Hall
Scene Six – The Sisters’ Boudoir
Scene Seven – Outside Hardup Hall
Scene Eight – The Royal Wedding


Musical Director/Keyboards – Joe Morley
Keyboards 2 – Tor Underseth
Bass Guitar – Pete Robinson
Drums/Percussion – Dave Williams
Trumpet – Neil Fryer
Sax Tenor/Flute – Chris Gumbley

Director – Derek Nicholls
Choreographer – Frank Thompson
Musical Director – Joe Morley
Designer – Hugh Durrant
Lighting Designer – Steve Coe
Company Stage Manager – Jonathan Bland
Deputy Stage Manager – Julie Whitcombe
Assistant Stage Manager – Tim Leist
Wardrobe – Reuvan Britten


Cannon and Ball

Cannon and Bobby Ball are Britain’s funniest and most successful double act. In a career spanning over 25 years they have achieved a string of honours that puts them among the all-time greats of show business.

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

To add to their pedigree, they remain the only act to have won three separate National Club Awards and have been named as the Variety Club ‘Personalities of the Near’. Their 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!

Blackpool is a ‘happy hunting ground’ for the Lancashire-born twosome, who played the 3,000-seat Opera House during the summer of 1994. This was their third season at the Theatre, following their enormously successful seasons in 1985 and 1987.

In addition to Blackpool, 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 when 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 Bristish theatre history.

In 1995 they appeared on many major TV shows including The Des O’Connor Show, Noel’s House Party and Talking Telephone Numbers.

Rock With Laughter ’96 fulfilled Tommy and Bobby’s ambition to star in their own rock ’n’ roll spectacular, their first summer season for producer Nick Thomas.

After an extensive autumn tour and a trip to Israel, the boys played the Chinese Policemen in Aladdin for Nick at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle – a role the boys reprised at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton last Christmas.

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.

Tommy and Bobby are really looking forward to the season at the Regent Theatre in Stoke.


Melinda Messenger

Melinda Messenger hit the headlines in January 1997 when posters of a double glazing campaign she was fronting started disappearing from their sites.

The Sun brought her to the attention of the nation and TV appearances quickly followed.

Melinda was then offered the opportunity to stand in as host on the Not The Jack Docherty Show (Channel 5). She proved to be such a hit she was given her own show, Melinda’s Big Night In.

She hosts Fort Boyard, Channel 5’s highest rating show, as well as Can We Still Be Friends, also for Channel 5.

Melinda is a guest presenter on VH1 and Wish You Were Here (ITV). She presented a documentary for 1TV, Melinda Hits Hollywood during which she was auditioned for Friends and offered a role in Baywatch which she had to decline.

She is married to Wayne Roberts and lives in Wiltshire.


Britt Ekland

Internationally acknowledged as one of the world’s most beautiful women, Britt was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Her career was launched at the age of fifteen when she appeared in a toothpaste commercial. She then attended drama school for two years and gained acting experience as a member of a touring theatre company.

A small role in an Alberto Sordi movie in Sweden led to her next feature Il Commendante in Rome. The next stop was London for the lead in the television drama A Cold Peace. Then it was back to Rome to star with Peter Sellers in After the Fox directed by Vittorio De Sica.

Britt has since starred in over thirty feature films, including The Bobo with Peter Sellers, The Double Man with Yul Brynner, The Night They Raided Minsky’s with Jason Robards, Baxter with Patricia Neal, The Man With the Golden Gun with Roger Moore, Royal Flash with Malcolm McDowell, Moon in Scorpio and Scandal with John Hurt.

1978 saw Britt take to the stage in London’s West End to star in a new play, Mate. Later that year she began work on her autobiography, True Britt which was published in Europe in 1980 and in the US in 1981. Her second book Sensual Beauty was published internationally in 1984.

Britt has made countless television appearances around the world including mini-series, specials, variety shows and episodic television. Among her numerous endorsements, Faberge signed her as their spokeswoman for a highly successful campaign in Australia.

Her interest in health and physical fitness led to the release of her own exercise video Britt Fit in 1992. The video is based on Britt’s personal fitness regime and her philosophy of achieving goals whilst maintaining a balance in everyday life. She has recorded two highly successful series of an Oprah Winfrey-style talk show Only With Britt in Sweden. She appears regularly in pantomime each year including the Genie of the Ring in Aladdin at the Birmingham Hippodrome, Aladdin at Woking, Jack and the Beanstalk in Bath, as the Fairy in Dick Whittington at the New Theatre, Cardiff, as the Wicked Queen in Snow White at Southampton, Mother Goose at the Festival Theatre, Chichester and last year as Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Wimbledon Theatre. Britt has also recently appeared in Noel’s House Party and in Absolutely Fabulous.

Her first novel Sweet Life has been published in Sweden, where it is a huge success, and in England. Britt has appeared on many comedy shows and hosted a live magazine programme for UK Living.


Fogwell Flax

Foggy originates in the city of Liverpool where he worked as a physiological measurement technician (cardiology) at the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital. He swapped one sort of theatre for another, and gained much experience as part of a comedy duo, eventually going solo in 1979.

In late 1980. he was outright winner of LWT’s Search for a Star and was immediately contracted to be a regular on LWT’s comedy quiz Punchlines. Then followed 30 weeks on the legendary TISWAS for Central TV. He has many TV credits including children’s favourites like Saturday Starship and No 73, and Yorkshire TV’s 3-2-1, and has appeared twice on both BBC’s Children in Need and Bruce Forsyth’s Generation Game. You will also have heard his voice many times on Spitting Image. Most recently , Sky TV’s 1995 series of Who Do You Do? showed off his uncanny skill of impersonating machines, and in June 1998 he appeared on the National Lottery Big Ticket Show.

Foggy is also a fine singer, both in his own right, and in impersonation mode, as the voices of many famous vocalists such as Sting, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond, Michael McDonald and Bryan Feriy to name but a few. He has worked all over the world including the Falklands, Monte Carlo, Germany, the Gambia, Corfu, Tenerife, Malta, Majorca and Dubai. He has also cruised for Thomson Holidays in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Foggy lives in Bosham in West Sussex and his hobbies include playing the piano and guitar, riding motorbikes, and an interest in the occupation of Britain by the Romans, especially their road building skills!

Michael Sharvell-Martin

Michael is probably best known for his portrayal of Trevor, the sheriy-drinking neighbour in BBC TV’s No Place Like Home. He has appeared in a wide range of popular television shows including 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. Ns 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 Twelfth Night, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Middle Age Spread, The Secretary Bird, What the Butler Saw and Don’t Rock the Boat 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. He is currently rehearsing A Bedfull of Foreigners at the Mill at Sonning.

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 years he has shaved off his moustache and played Dame in pantomimes such as Aladdin in Oxford and Lincoln, Cinderella in Wimbledon, Richmond and Newcastle, Goldilocks and the Three Bears in Canada, Bournemouth and Newcastle, Dick Whittington in Bristol and Bournemouth and Mother Goose in Chichester.

Michael lives in Dorset with his wife Linda and his two daughters, Ellen and Kate. He collects theatrical memorabilia concerning Henry Irving and Ellen Terry and he is Chairman of the Irving Society.


Keiron Crook

Keiron hails from Preston. He trained at the Mountview Theatre School London, where he played numerous roles including Hamlet in Hamlet; Fyodor Kulygin in The Three Sisters and Sarastro in The Magic Flute.

Professional theatre credits include Raoulin the UK tour of Phantom of the Opera, Jason in the world premiere of Waiting for Hillsborough, Joey Evans in Pal Joey, Steerforth in David Copperfield, Mickey in Blood Brothers and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing.

TV and film credits include Archie Christie in The Agatha Christie Diaries and David McDaniel in Champions Choice – both lead roles.

Matthew J Shaw

Born and educated on Merseyside, Matthew combined his scholastic career with attendance at a nationally acclaimed theatre school, gaining awards for dancing. He also received a drama award, again from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, in conjunction with top qualifications from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Matthew has been a singer/dancer/actor from the age of three, appearing in amateur shows and pantomimes in the Merseyside area.

Appearances on television were made before his twelfth birthday!

Matthew’s talents were further enhanced by playing a major role in the Babes tn the Wood pantomime at the Floral Pavilion Theatre New Brighton, which led to him being employed by Pontin’s Holidays as an all-round Bluecoat entertainer for the 1996 summer season.

1997 saw Matthew’s continued progress during his summer season in Jersey where he appeared with great success under the auspices of one of the UK’s top producers, Dick Ray of Dick Ray International Productions.

As a result of this successful summer season he was then cast to star in the pantomime at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.

The summer season of 1998 for Matthew was taken up by appearing for Thomson Holidays as a leading cabaret entertainer on one of their Mediterraneanbased cruise ships, followed by appearing as Dandini with Cannon and Ball at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

His summer season in 1999 was suddenly curtailed by the sinking of the cruise ship, MV Sun Vista, on which he was appearing. However this mishap, fortunately, did not dampen his enthusiasm for the business, as he excelled in assisting with the safe evacuation of the passengers and kept their spirits up during the ensuing six hours in a life raft!

Matthew is looking forward immensely to appearing in Cinderella in the new Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent.


Richard Pocock

Richard was born in Guildford but grew up in Southsea, Hampshire. He trained at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and has worked mainly in the theatre ever since.

Repertory seasons include Guernsey, Southwold, Taunton, Crewe, Farnham, Southampton, Sheffield, Sonning, Oldham and Keswick. Tours include Jill Freud & Co, the Cherub Co, Great Eastern Stage, Channel Theatre Co and the Magnificent Theatre Co.

In London Richard’s work has included The Old Bachelor at the Lyric, Hammersmith, Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens at the King’s Head, The Bassett Table at Hampstead, Fleshing Out the Old Red Lion, Richard III at the Lilian Baylis and The Millionairess at the BAC.

Recent television work includes Casualty for the BBC and Binky and Boo for Channel 4.

Richard was in the tour of Ned Sherrin’s West End production of Salad Days and in Dirty Tricks for the Modern Music Theatre Troupe.

For the last three Christmasses Richard has played Ugly Sister in Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen and at the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon. He is thrilled to be Ugly again and to be in Stoke-on-Trent.

William Elliott

William Elliott studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He spent the first few years of his career working in Scotland, with companies such as Wildcat, TAG, Perth Repertoiy Theatre and Cumbernauld Theatre Company. After moving south of the border, he worked with Gay Sweatshop, in their production of Philip Osment’s This Island’s Mine and Red Shift Theatre, playing Alceste in Le Misanthrope in an adaptation by Neil Bartlett. He has worked with several young people’s theatre companies, including Red Ladder, Wolsey Theatre in Education, Ipswich and Theatre Centre, London, with whom he is an associate artist. Last year he toured Scotland in a production of Romeo and Juliet. His film and television work includes The Girl in the Picture, Living Together Apart as well as commercials and student films.

Tim Leist

Tim worked in a variety of roles at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth before hot-footing it to Bristol in the long hot summer of ’98. He will soon complete the stage management course at the Old Vic Theatre School. From there he hopes to fulfil his lifelong ambition of returning Dangermouse to prime time television.

Tim is delighted to be working with E&B Productions for the first time.



Sophie Jakubowska
Katie Turner
Suzanne Bullock
Rebecca Lisewski
Jason Webb
Craig Turbyfield
Rahman Enathally
Anthony Frazer

Jill Clewes Performing Arts School

The Jill Clewes Performing Arts Centre has been established in the North Staffordshire area for over 25 years teaching all aspects of performing arts, dance, drama skills and musical theatre. The studios employ professional tutors many of whom are still working in the entertainment industry, West End theatre, TV etc. At present they have teachers appearing in Saturday Night Fever and The Lion King in London and our drama teacher is a member of the New Victoria Theatre Company.

The studios has its own theatrical agency, Young Stargazers. This has been extremely successful. Our students have recently appeared in this theatre (the Regent) with the National Theatre production of An Inspector Calls, one of our younger students played the lead role in the BBC television drama, In the Land of Plenty. Two of our boys appeared in the Cameron Mackintosh production of Oliver!, at the London Palladium and during the tour in Manchester while others have had many other opportunities including Granada television.

The studio’s aim is to constantly improve the level of teaching (and therefore learning) and the quality and volume of expertise we can bring into the studio environment from the world of professional theatre.


Derek Nicholls – Director

Derek is Theatre Director of the Grand Opera House, Belfast and this will be the fifth pantomime he has directed for E&B Productions. Derek has a wide experience of directing, and previous pantomimes include Dick Whittington, Mother Goose, Babes in the Wood, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk and Peter Pan. Other Christmas shows include The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and The Snow Queen. Before going to Belfast, Derek was Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal, Associate Director at Birmingham Repertoiy Theatre and Director of Midlands Arts Centre. Productions (other than at Christmas) have been numerous, including West Side Story, Julius Caesar, She Stoops to Conquer, Private Lives, The Importance of Being Earnest, To Kill a Mockingbird, Madam Butterfly and Sweeney Todd. His biggest production to date was Leonard Bernstein’s Mass -with a cast of 150, at Aston Villa Sports Centre. Derek is also a successful playwright, and has worked in educational television. His production of The Railway Children was seen at the Grand Opera House in 1990, before he became Theatre Director of Northern Ireland’s premier theatre.

Frank Thompson – Choreographer

Theatre work includes Hey Mr Producer!, the Lyceum Theatre; Cats, New London Theatre, Jack in Review, London Palladium; Sunset Boulevard, Adelphi Theatre; Pickwick, national tour; Cats, national tour; Showstoppers, Dome Theatre Brighton; Dance for Life, Her Majesty’s Theatre; West Side Story and Mother Goose both for York Theatre Royal; Cabaret, Eden Palladium; The Sound of Music, Her Majesty’s workshop; London production of Bernadette and most recently Evita, S’Wonderful and The Pajama Game currently showing at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

Film and television credits include Turning Point, documentaiy; Cats, the film; Hale and Pace and The People Programme, LWT; Great Westerners, HTV; Free Time and CITV, Carlton; The Children’s Channel, Sky TV, All We Need Is Love, Tom Jones/Childline, Anchors Away, Wax; As If We Never Said Goodbye and The South Bank Show, Elaine Paige, This Is Your Life, BBC1 and Jethro Tull 25 Years.

Choreographic work includes; Cinderella, Hackney Empire; Hooray for Hollywood, Earls Court; Cinderella, Grand Opera House; Magic Golden Years of Musical, the London Palladium, The Beaux9 Stratagem, Cannizaro Park open- air season, Carousel, the Guildhall at the Barbican, Singin9 in the Rain, the Castle Theatre, Wellingborough, The Condos, the Old Red Lion and the 199 7 Edinburgh Festival. The Styne Way London Palladium, Ken and Barb, UK tour, The Fleet’s In, Theatre Royal, Druiy Lane, Chess, the King’s Theatre, Southsea, The Boy Friend, Cannizaro open-air and Wimbledon Theatre – Gala Night, Tameside Hippodrome, Manchester, Music and the Deaf, the Arts Theatre, Halifax.


Hugh Durrant – Designer

Hugh Durrant’s spectacular sets and costumes have won him critical accolades and awards throughout the world. He is however equally at home designing for smaller venues. His West End credits include: the opulent costumes for Copacabana, and sets and costumes for Babes in the Wood (Palladium), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Old Vic, Prince of Wales and Canada), The Mikado (Prince of Wales), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Ambassadors), Spine Chiller (Duke of Yorks) and Anastasia (Cambridge). He has designed dance-works and ballets for The Royal Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, Dutch National Ballet, La Scala Milan as well as Wayne Sleep’s Hot Shoe Show and will be designing a new three act ballet to music by Erich Korngold for Wayne Eagling. Last year Hugh designed the critically acclaimed sets and costumes for Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Lady Windermere’s Fan and Sandy Wilson’s Divorce Me Darling, the latter star-studded production winning the TMA best musical award.

Hugh has been scenic design consultant for Holland America Cruise Line for five years and is currently designing three versions of Copacabana for them. Future work includes the costumes for the upcoming new movie version of Ivanhoe and Future Soldiers.

Hugh has also directed, adapted and written for the stage, designed for TV and commercials and designed for fashion (both couture and ready-to-wear) in this countiy and abroad. Hugh designed the veiy first British production of Jeriy Herman’s Mack and Mabel in 1981 at Nottingham Playhouse, starring Dennis Quilley and Imelda Staunton. Last year an exhibition of Hugh’s costumes was held at The Theatre Museum, Covent Garden.

Joe Morley – Musical Director

Joe has worked in various situations with artistes, stage musicals and different bands as MD, Keyboard Player, Arranger or Composer.

Artistes include: Lulu, Helen Shapiro, Lenny Heniy, Julie Rogers, Salena Jones and The Drifters.

West End musicals, either regularly or as freelance include: The Invisible Man, Piaf, Peter Pan, Mamma Mia, Saturday Night Fever, Blood Brothers, Grease, Les Miserables, The Goodbye Girl, The Chippendales. Touring musicals include: Copacababa, 42nd Street, Blues in the Night, Annie.

Joseph has also toured the UK with the Q Tips, toured Japan with the Glenn Miller revival orchestra and toured the world on the QE2. He has written music for Spitting Image and has original songs broadcast on BBC Radio 2.

Joe is married with two gorgeous children (and a gorgeous wife!).