Star cast announced for Sleeping Beauty at the Winding Wheel Theatre

Take one TV soap star icon, add in one of the nation’s favourite Britain’s Got Talent winners, sprinkle with an arty Disney presenter and mix to create an exciting star-studded cast to headline Chesterfield’s far from sleepy pantomime Sleeping Beauty!

Instantly recognisable from EastEnders and Coronation Street, Michelle Collins will be casting her own special spell over audiences as the bad fairy Carabosse. Boasting iconic places in TV history with her memorable roles as the home wrecker Cindy Beale in EastEnders and Rovers Return landlady Stella Price in Coronation Street, Michelle will ensure audiences have plenty to boo as the uninvited fairy delivers retribution on Princess Aurora.

He captured the hearts of the nation with his performances on Britain’s Got Talent and as pantomime hero, he’s sure to win the hearts of audiences too; Jai McDowall won the fifth season of BGT with his powerhouse vocals, natural charm and versatile song interpretations. Signed up to Syco Music, Jai followed up his TV success with an album and tour, before performing as BGT winner in the coveted Royal Variety Performance.

Bringing a palette of pantomime comedy, chaos and calamities to the production will be in the multi-talented hands of Lloyd Warbey, host of the legendary children's TV classic Disney’s Art Attack. The much-loved show takes children on a fun-filled journey through the various stages of producing something artistic. Hosting the iconic show was a dream come true for Lloyd when he took over in 2012, having watched the programme religiously as a child. Professionally trained at the prestigious East 15 acting school, Lloyd will have audiences of all ages wrapped-up in laughter as he plays the pantomime fool.

Despite the notion of chaos with on-stage mishaps and mayhem, directing a pantomime is a careful balancing act of story, comedy, song and dance, combined with great staging, stunning lighting and special effects. And it’s going to take a special director to bring all these elements together in Chesterfield this Christmas!

With a back catalogue of choreographing and directing productions in TV, theatre and fashion, Di Cooke brings a wealth of experience to directing Sleeping Beauty. Having performed with Tina Turner, Rick Astley and Kylie, the in-demand director has also worked with comedy greats such as Ronnie Corbett and Russ Abbot, and more recently, Julian Clary and Alexander Armstrong.

Di has recently devised, directed and choreographed the award-winning Cromer Pier Show and The Cromer Christmas Show.

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said: “I’m thrilled Michelle Collins will be leading this year’s cast in Chesterfield and I’m sure audiences are going to love her 'stella' performance as a pantomime baddie. She’s joined by a very talented and exciting cast with Jai and Lloyd. The production of Sleeping Beauty promises an adventure for all family, with exciting special effects depicting Princess Aurora’s 100-year sleep, glittering costumes and lots of traditional audience participation in what’s shaping up to be Chesterfield’s biggest and brightest panto.”

Tickets for the pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Winding Wheel Theatre in Chesterfield are on sale now with a special discounted price on tickets purchased before 31 August 2022. Purchase your tickets on the Chesterfield Theatres website

First published on 04 July 2022 Last updated on 10 January 2024