Coronation Street icon Beverley Callard decided to make her home in Norfolk just over a year ago. And now she’s looking forward to appearing in this year’s pantomime at Norwich Theatre Royal, Sleeping Beauty
Beverley Callard, best known for pulling pints at the Rovers as Liz McDonald on Coronation Street, will take on the role of the Evil Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, this year’s pantomime at Norwich Theatre Royal. Beverley has also appeared on Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps as Flo Henshaw; as a campmate on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here; and as a fitness queen, keeping the nation fit with her series of fitness DVDs.
Speaking about the role, she says: ‘My husband Jon and I made a decision to make our home in Norfolk just over a year ago, and we absolutely LOVE it. We love the people, the scenery, the BIG skies. To be asked to be in the panto at Norwich Theatre Royal is just fantastic; it’s a wonderful theatre and so highly respected. I’m thrilled, excited and can’t wait.’
Beverley is an ambassador for Mind the mental health charity, a subject very close to her heart. She is a strong voice in the battle to raise awareness and fight the stigma. She is also an ambassador for The Veterans Garage, a charity that offers help and support to ex-service personnel and raises money every week with her fitness classes for East Anglia Air Ambulance.
Local treasure YouTube star and The Times bestselling author Joe Tracini will be bringing his unique madcap comedy style to The Fairy. Joe delighted audiences last year as Jack in last year’s pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. Joe received special recognition for changing perceptions and raising awareness of mental health at the 2022 Pantomime Awards for his role as Tommy Cat in Norwich Theatre’s Dick Whittington and his Cat.
Joe says: ‘This will be my 20th year doing panto, and I’m so happy they’re letting me do it in Norwich again. The staff and the audiences at Norwich Theatre Royal are the best in the country, and I’m very lucky that they’re letting me be on the receiving end of that for the 4th year in a row.’
Norwich Theatre legend Richard Gauntlett will be returning for his 23rd year at Norwich Theatre pantomime. Expect flamboyant dresses and elaborate wigs when Richard plays The Queen. He will treat audiences to his cheeky humour and fabulous dress sense and will have you guessing what’s next.
Richard Gauntlett says: ‘Thrilled to be returning to my Christmas home from home for the 23rd year – and with promotion! At last, I shall be playing The Queen!’
Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre Chief Executive & Creative Director, adds: ‘Pantomime is the perfect time for family, and I am thrilled to welcome back Joe Tracini and Richard Gauntlett back to the Norwich Theatre family. I know the pair will bring the laughs and the panto magic to Sleeping Beauty.
‘Every panto needs a baddie, and we are delighted to welcome Beverley Callard as the Evil Fairy. Beverley now calls Norfolk home, and I hope to make this Norfolk Christmas one to remember!
‘We know Norfolk loves a panto, and I can promise everyone that this show will be packed full of everything you would expect from a Norwich Theatre pantomime.’
Beverley Callard, Joe Tracini and Richard Gauntlett will be appearing in this year’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, opening at Norwich Theatre Royal Saturday 9 December 23, and running until Sunday 7 January 24. For more information or to book, visit norwichtheatre.org or call the Box Office on 01603 630000. Norwich Theatre is also on the lookout for budding young performers for the Junior Ensemble, who will be playing fairies in training at the Wish Factory in this year’s panto. Due to the number of performances, Norwich Theatre will be casting 12 children in total, with the number of performances being split between actors. The application portal will open today (Friday 14 July), and closes Saturday 19 August, at 4pm. Young actors are encouraged to apply if they can sing, dance and act, are aged 9–11 years old and live within 30 minutes of travel time to Norwich Theatre. Full details and application link is via norwichtheatre.org. Those who are successful will be invited to audition in person at Norwich Theatre on Fri 1 Sep.