Clive Rowe and Debbie Kurup to star in Hackney Empire’s Panto this Christmas
July 30, 2015  //  By:   //  News  //  Comments are off

HEpantoHe’s back! Clive Rowe is to tread the boards at Hackney Empire once again starring as Dame Daisy Trott in their 2015 pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, from 21 November 2015 to 3 January 2016.

Starring as Jack will be Olivier Award-nominated Bodyguard actress Debbie Kurup. She is new to the Hackney family, having most recently appeared in the UK tour of Anything Goes, following her Olivier-nomination for her role as Nicki Marron in The Bodyguard in London’s West End. Hackney Empire favourite Kat B will join the pair on stage as Snowman with further casting still to be announced.

Rowe returns to the home of London’s number one pantomime after reprising his Olivier-nominated title role in Mother Goose in 2014. The production was Hackney Empire’s most successful pantomime to date and was seen by over 50,000 people from all over London.

Jack and the Beanstalk will be written and directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Susie McKenna with music by Steven Edis. The team has been the creative force behind London’s number one pantomime for over a decade.

In true Hackney style the production will feature a break dancing cow, bonkers baddies and the scariest giant ever, outlandish costumes and glittering sets by Lotte Collett, buckets of silliness, tons of audience participation and full-on show stopping songs performed by a kickin’ live band.

After 15 years of perpetual winter the kingdom of Hackneydale is really feeling the pinch of austerity cuts. McKenna’s production follows two stories, that of young and earnest Jack and of the HUGE scary giant. Whilst Jack is tempted by a mysterious stranger into swapping the family’s trusty old cow for a handful of magic beans, the Giant’s inventions for making gold are destroying the Earth… Can Jack and his crazy mates save the day?

Clive Rowe (Dame Daisy Trott) was nominated for the 2008 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for his role as Mother Goose at Hackney Empire. Rowe’s extensive theatre credits include his Olivier Award-winning performance in Guys and Dolls (National Theatre), The Light Princess, Carousel (for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award), Fuente OvejunaCaroline or ChangeThe Villains OperaMoneyCandidePeter Pan (all National Theatre), Kiss Me Kate (Chichester and Old Vic Theatre) and The Ladykillers (West End and UK Tour). He is well known for his role as ‘Duke’ in the BBC’s The Story of Tracey Beaker. Other television credits include All the Small ThingsDoctor WhoDalziel & Pascoe, and The Harry Hill Show. Rowe returns to Hackney Empire for his eleventh pantomime appearance.

Debbie Kurup (Jack) most recently played the role of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (UK/Ireland Tour). Prior to this, she played Nicki Marron in the World Premiere of The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre, London(2013) for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical. Kurup has also appeared in Chicago (Adelphi), Ben Elton’s Tonight’s The Night (Victoria Palace), Rent (UK Tour and West End), Sister Act (Palladium) andWest Side Story (Prince of Wales). 

Kat B (Snowman) returns to Hackney Empire after his role as Billy Goose in last year’s production of Mother Goose. He also starred in the title role of Puss in Bootsin Hackney Empire’s 2014 production. Previous credits include Dick Whittington, Cinderella, The Wiz, Mother Goose, A Christmas Carol, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk and The Kat and Tameka Show. Kat is best known for his antics on MTV Base where he has presented numerous shows around the world. His film and television credits include Waterland and Street Wise (BBC) and The Richard Blackwood Show (Channel 4). Kat is also the Artistic Director of Real Deal Comedy Jam and a regular on the Jongleurs Circuit.

Susie McKenna (Writer /Director) has worked as an actress and director touring nationally and in the West End for over 25 years and is currently Creative Director of Hackney Empire. Her directing credits include the critically acclaimed Blues In the Night ( Hackney Empire 2014)  A Midsummer Night’s Madness (Hackney Empire, New York and Edinburgh Festival), La VarietéOnce on This Island (Hackney Empire), Sit and Shiver (assisting Steven Berkoff), A Christmas Carol (Arts Theatre, London) and Once on this Island (Hackney Empire, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse). Her acting credits include Chicago, Ragtime, Cats and The Witches of Eastwick in the West End and national tours of HairThe Rocky Horror Show and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Steven Edis (Musical Composer) returns once again to create a magical mix of musical mash-ups, chart remixes and an original score. Steven has worked with the National Theatre, in the West End and on a variety of prestigious projects as composer, arranger and orchestrator. Credits include Volpone (RSC), The Captain of Köpenick (National Theatre), She Loves Me and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Chorus of Disapproval, Flare Path and Birdsongfor the West End. Steven brings his vast experience to create a musical score that rivals a West End musical.

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