Southend’s Panto Through The Years admin January 13, 2015 Landmarks & Attractions, Southend, Theatres As we all know, every year in Southend the Cliffs Pavilion recruit a great panto cast (including a few special guests) to keep families entertained for some light-hearted fun throughout the festive period. This weekend just gone marked the end of 2014’s all star panto Peter Pan, starring Bay Watch star David Hasselhoff as Hook and TV personality Christopher Biggins as Hook’s trusted partner Mrs. Smee. So what’s your favourite panto to go and see? Take a look at the past 10 panto’s performed at the Cliffs Pavilion. 2005: In 2005 English musician, comedian and actor Russ Abbot took to the stage of the Cliffs Pavilion stage to take on the role of Captain Hook in the popular panto Peter Pan. Abbot played the role from 11th December 2004-9th January 2005, bringing in an audience alongside a multi talented cast and panto team. 2006: In 2006 ex ‘The Bill’ actor and Rock of Ages star Ben Richards took to the stage to play Dick Whittington along side theatre star Lora Munro, comedy duo Cannon & Ball and BBC’s Just Good Friends’ Paul Nicholas. The panto went live from 8th December 2006-7th January 2007, pleasing and entertaining crowds throughout performances. 2007: In 2007 the Cliffs Pavilion welcomed well loved British TV star and comedian Joe Pasquale to please the crowds with his quirky sense of humour as the role of Buttons in ‘The Greatest pantomime of them all’: Cinderella. The panto was shown from 7th December 2007-6th January 2008 and ran with popular demand. 2008: The Southend panto Aladdin welcomed the Comedy duo and Kids TV show stars The Chuckle Brothers in 2008 alongside Any Dream will do’s Chris Crosby. Aladdin ran from 5th December 2008-4th January 2009 and even included a magical 3D genie! It was ‘Southend’s Most Magical Panto Ever!’ (Well, at this point so far). 2009: In 2009 TV personality Brian Conley took over the role of Buttons in the classic Cinderella. The panto was available to watch from 12th December 2009-10th January 2010. It also starred Dawson Chance & ‘Willy’, Michelle Potter, Brian Godfrey and Darren Southworth. Was you there to see it? 2010: 2010 marked the welcoming of the hilarious ‘The Chase’ Presenter, Actor, Comedian and Ex Footballer Bradley Walsh. Walsh played Mr Smee in Peter pan for a ‘Swashbuckling panto adventure’ from 11th December 2010-9th January 2011, amusing crowds performance after performance. Walsh was also joined by an all singing, all dancing team for a truly mood lifting panto experience! 2011: 2011 brought Eastenders’ well loved character Alfie Moon, comedian and singer Shane Richie to the depths of Southend for some Cliffs Pavilion panto fun! Richie played the leading role as Aladdin himself, supported by Peter Piper, Busola Peters and a fun-loving panto team. 2012: Richie then returned for some more panto fun the following year, staring as Buttons in Cinderella, yet again supported by Peter Piper, and panto star Carly Day as Cinderella. Cinderella also ran with ‘Amazing 3D special effects’, how exciting! 2013: 2013 was the year of Snow White, bringing a new panto to the scene after a few years of repeated Peter Pan, Aladdin and Cinderella. The Snow White stars included BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, actress Lisa Riley, Britain’s got Talent’s contestant Paul Burling and the return of Dawson Chance & ‘Willy’, following their previous Southend Panto appearance in the 2009 production of Cinderella. The show ran from 13th December 2013-4th January 2014, captivating audiences show after show. 2014: Ah, 2014. Feels just like yesterday, doesn’t it? It was only 2 weeks ago, but I’m not sure we will ever forget our most recent panto! The Cliffs Pavilion really stepped up their panto game this year, with the names being bigger than ever! Baywatch and Knightrider star David Hasselhoff stepped up to play the part of Captain Hook, while TV personality and actor Christopher Biggins stood by his side to play his supporting role of Mrs. Smee. What a show! So, what panto would you like to see at the Cliffs Pavilion next year? And who would you like to see in it?