Throwback Thursday: Celebrating Cardiff New Theatre Pantomimes Through The Years

Cardiff’s New Theatre celebrated its 114th birthday on December 10th and as a belated celebration, Entertainment South Wales thought it would be good to look back on some of the wonderful pantomimes the New Theatre has hosted over the last five decades.

Of course, due to government restrictions relating to the pandemic, there is no New theatre pantomime this year, however we do look forward to updates on next year’s panto, Aladdin – “Oh, Yes We Do!”

For now, here are a few reminders of great pantos from the New Theatre, and please feel free to leave us memories of your favourites!

Ted Rogers in Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington
27/12/1971 – 26/02/1972

Starring: Ted Rogers, Joe Black, Bryn Williams, Iris Williams, Desmond & Marks, Jonson Sisters, Curries Comedy Bathroom

Comedian and entertainer Ted Rogers starred as Idle Jack. Rogers would later appear on stage at the London Palladium with Bing Crosby and host the long running TV game show 3-2-1.

Stan Stennett in Aladdin

26/12/1974 – 1/02/1975

Starring: Stan Stennett, Gillian Humphreys, The Falcons, Fourth Generation, David Hartley, Annette Woollett, Geoffrey Brightman, Marie Claire, Clive Hicks Jenkins, Sally Brelsford, Wayne Warlow.

Welsh comedian, actor and entertainer Stan Stennett had appeared in pantomime across the UK since the 1950s. Aladdin would be the first of several successive years topping the New Theatre panto bill for Stan, already a household name for his appearances in Coronation Street and Crossroads.

Roy Hudd in Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington
24/12/1979 – 16/02/1980

Starring: Roy Hudd, Hope & Keen, Frank Williams, Sian Hopkins, Graham Hamilton, Susan Maughan, Wyn Calvin, Clive Hicks Jenkins

No stranger to the world of panto, comedian Roy Hudd topped the bill in 1979. Roy was riding high on the radio with his satirical show The News Huddlines. Also featured were comedy double act Hope & Keen , 60s pop star Susan Maughan and Frank Williams who played The Vicar in Dad’s Army.

Ronnie Corbett in Cinderella

23/12/1994 – 4/02/1995

Starring: Ronnie Corbett, Adrian Mills, Kevin Devine, Elizabeth Watts, Peter Byrne, Carmen Silvera, The Patton Brothers, Ward Allan & Roger the Dog, The Olive Guppy Olivettes

It was a “good night from him” as one half of The Two Ronnies, Ronnie Corbett topped the New Theatre bill in 1994 as Buttons in Cinderella. Also featured was Allo Allo’s Carmen Silvera  and actor and director, Peter Byrne, best remembered for his role as Andy Crawford in the long-running BBC Television serial Dixon of Dock Green.

Michael Starke in Peter Pan

Peter Pan
16/12/2000 – 27/01/2001

Starring: Michael Starke, Sonia, Robert Duncan, Wyn Calvin, Frank Hennessy

The first year of the new Millennium ended with the magical tale of Peter Pan featuring Brookside star Michael Starke alongside 90s pop star Sonia.

Cannon & Ball in Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington
14/12/2002 – 25/01/2003

Starring: Tommy Cannon, Bobby Ball, Casey Lee Jolleys, Frank Hennessy, Stifyn Parri

Television and stage comedy favourites Cannon and Ball appeared in their only New Theatre pantomime in 2002. Welsh entertainer Stifyn Parri  also featured along with radio presenter Frank Hennessy. Sadly Bobby Ball passed away in 2020.

John Barrowman in Robin Hood

Robin Hood
12/12/2009 – 24/01/2010

Starring: John Barrowman, Andy Jones, Don Maclean, Emma Thornett, Pete Gallagher, Jaqui Dubois, Alexei Kislitsyn, Natalia Pestova, Phillip Andrew, William Kenning, Harry Smith, Andy De Vito, James Stewart, Matt Byham, Seth Oliver, Max Milner, Caroline Andrew, Jess Parker, Sara Jane Preedy, Jasmine Verplanke, The Lorri Guppy Babes

Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman returned to the New Theatre for a second pantomime in 2009. The panto, which even featured an appearance of a TARDIS also featured comedians Andy Jones and Don Maclean.

Joe Pasquale in Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty
8/12/2012 – 20/01/2013

Starring: Joe Pasquale, Barney Harwood, Ceri Dupree, Lucy Evans, Lucy Williamson, Michael Peluso, Shona White, Alexis Gerred, Ian Stuart Robertson, Melanie Brown, Laura-Jane Fenney, Daniel-J Parrott, Scott Slaymaker, Isobel Staples, Luke Swattridge, The Lorri Guppy School of Dance

Joe Pasquale literally rose with the curtain during the 3-D pantomime of Sleeping Beauty back in 2012. The hilarious panto also featured children’s TV presenter Barney Harwood and drag queen Ceri Dupree.

David Hasselhoff in Peter Pan

Peter Pan
10/12/2016 – 8/01/2017

Company: Qdos Entertainment Starring: David Hasselhoff, Mike Doyle, Stephanie Webber, Matthew Chase, Natalie Winsor, Emma Prosser, Julie Cullen, Annabelle Adey, Jack Butcher, Devon Braithwaite, Ben Brown, Lauren Crooks, Rachel Lopez, Isabelle Monk, Gareth Moran, Benjamin Jones, Alex Niscoveanu, Will Greenway, Jake Johnson, The Lorri Guppy School of Dance.

The appearance of The Hoff as Captain Hook was perhaps one of the New Theatre’s biggest scoops in recent years. References to the American TV stars shows Knight-Rider and Baywatch were aplenty, as was plenty of home-grown talent from Wales including favourites Mike Doyle and Stephanie Webber.

The 2021-22 New Theatre pantomime will be Aladdin

4/12/2021 – 2/01/2022

Starring Paul Chuckle, Gareth Gates, Gareth Thomas, Mike Doyle

Full booking details are yet to be released for 2021’s New Theatre panto, which features Paul Chuckle and pop star Gareth Gates plus the return of established New Theatre favourites, Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas and comedian, Mike Doyle.

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