Friday, 14 November 2014

Record breaking Director in Panto return!

We are thrilled to confirm that internationally renowned Director Paulette Randall will be returning to Direct Cinderella the rock 'n' roll panto, after she broke box office records with Sleeping Beauty.

Paulette Randall
Paulette was the Associate Director for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, and is the former Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company, the first black theatre company in the UK. She is the foremost director of American playwright August Wilson's plays in this country, having most recently directed Lenny Henry in Fences in the West End, and has also directed his work at the Arena Stage in Washington DC. Paulette has had an extensive theatre and TV career, among her theatre credits are Rudy's Rare Records (Birmingham Rep / Hackney Empire); Twelfth Night and Moon On A Rainbow Shawl (Nottingham Playhouse) and Crossings (Grand Opera House).
Her TV credits include Desmond's (C4), The Real McCoy and The Crouches (both BBC Comedy) and Kerching! (CBBC). Paulette is a Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama alumna and Associate Director at the New Wosley in Ipswich.


Libby Watson

Joining Paulette will be Production Designer Libby Watson, who will be taking on her first rock 'n' roll panto at Stafford. The critically acclaimed designer recently created the stunning design for our Stafford Festival Shakespeare production As You Like It.

Libby trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has a 1st class BA Hons in Theatre Design from Wimbledon School of Art.

Craig Adams
Musical Director Craig Adams is returning to Stafford after bringing the music to life in Dick Whittington, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty.

He was Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at the Finborough Theatre. Craig's first musical LIFT received its world premiere at the Soho Theatre in 2013 and is now being licensed around the world, with an Off Broadway run in late 2013 and a Whats On Stage nomination for Best Original Score 2014. Productions are now planned for Belfast, Germany, Belgium and Glasgow. His latest show, Therese Raquin, opened at the Finborough Theatre in March 2014 and transferred to the Park Theatre to rave reviews.

You can book your Cinderella tickets by clicking here!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Cinderella Cast Announcement

As October comes to a close we really are getting ready for all things Panto at the Gatehouse! We are thrilled to announce our incredible line up for Cinderella...

Gregory Clarke
Gregory Clarke – Verruca
Gregory trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and his impressive theatre credits include Guy Gisbourne in Hoods workshop (Arts Theatre), Al in Carnaby Street the Musical (UK Tour), White Bishop/1st cover Molokov in Chess (UK tour/Italy/Toronto), Louis/Conman in The Woman in White (Palace Theatre) and Raymond Neff in The Witches of Eastwick (UK tour) to name a few. He has also appeared on The Basil Brush Show (BBC) and was part of the Original Cast Recording of Andrew Lloyd Webbers The Woman In White. Gregory is “very chuffed” to be returning to Stafford for the festive season!


Claire Greenway – Fairy Funlove
Claire Greenway

Claire trained at the Royal Academy of Music.
Her Television and Film credits The Austrian Princess in Anna Karenina, Margaret in Little Crackers - Jane Horrocks (Sky1) and Carol in Phoneshop (Channel 4)
Her many theatre credits include Riverwoman in Therese Raquin (Park Theatre/Finborough), Ladybird/Aunt Sponge in James and the Giant Peach (UK Tour), Sister Mary Patrick original cast in Sister Act (London Palladium) and Betwixt! (King's Head Theatre) As a singer she has been involved with various projects including Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, The Water Horse, Sweeney Todd and Monkey Journey to the West (O2 Arena)

Scott Haining
Scott Haining - Buttons
Scott recently appeared as 'Joe. B Mauldin' in the national tour of Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story (Rave On ltd) and played the leading role of ‘ Bobby' in the national tour of Dreamboats and Petticoats (Bill Kenwright Ltd) His Television credits include: Regular character 'Nate Gurney' in the BBC drama Waterloo Road; Doctors (BBC); Frankenstein's
Wedding (BBC); My Parents Are Aliens (ITV Granada).

A keen musician, Scott has played the trumpet from a young age and now plays multiple instruments.

David Hewson
David Hewson – Dandini
David is “delighted” to be back in Stafford this Christmas after having fun in Sleeping Beauty as Harold the Herald last year. He has just finished touring nationally with Dumbwise Theatre’s Faust for which he wrote the music. He spent the summer performing at festivals with Forward Theatre in Bird.
Other theatre credits include The Matchgirls (Wilton’s Music Hall in London), Twisted Christmas (Liverpool Playhouse), Satan’s Playground (Edinburgh Festival), The Unknown Soldier (London’s Arcola) and Aladdin (City Varieties in Leeds)
David trained at the Rose Bruford College and is a prolific composer and arranger as well as a multi-instrumental actor/musician.

Joshua Meredith
 Joshua Meredith – Hernia
Joshua Meredith trained at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
This is Joshua's first time performing in Panto and he can think of “no better way to be spending the festive period”.
His credits include: Services No Longer Required (BBC Philharmonic & Imperial War Museum North), Loot (Hull Truck Theatre), Funny Turns (Hull Truck Theatre), The Sam Wanamaker Festival (Globe Theatre), Monologue Slam UK – Winner (Joshua Brooks), Departure Lounge (InStep Theatre).

Joshua also appeared in The Inbetweeners Movie (Young Bwark Productions).

Beth Peach-Robinson
 Beth Peach-Robinson – Cinderella
Born and bred in the West Midlands, Beth gained a degree in Music from the University of Cardiff and then went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Music Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music.
After graduating she toured the UK with Carnaby Street The Musical and made her pantomime debut as Princess Susie last year in Stafford in Sleeping Beauty.
She is “absolutely thrilled” to be returning to the Gatehouse this year as Cinderella.


Katia Sartini
Katia Sartini – Rubella De Zees

Katia started her early training at the Richmond Dance Centre, before receiving a full scholarship and graduating from SLP College, Leeds, also gaining her Licentiate Teaching Qualification with the London College of Music.
Her theatre credits include: Helen Shapiro / Chelita Secunda in 20th Century Boy, (UK Tour) Phoebe in Carnaby Street, (UK Tour) Lead Singer, Dancing Queen, (UK Tour) Vi Petty, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (UK and Ireland Tour) and many more.
Amongst stage shows, Katia also performs in various bands and plays gigs around the UK, she has recently appeared in Songbird: The Music of Eva Cassidy as understudy Eva Cassidy. Katia is also a keen musician and plays, piano, saxophone, flute and piccolo to an advanced standard.

Steve Simmonds – Baron Hardup
Steve Simmonds
His extensive Theatre credits include; several productions of 20th Century Boy (New Wolsey Theatre/Mark Goucher Ltd), The Resistable Rise of Arturio Ui at the Duchess Theatre, West End (Chichester Festival Theatre), Norman Petty in The Buddy Holly Story (Buddy Musical Productions/No. 1 Tour), The Genie in Aladdin (Liverpool Everyman and Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch), Mack And Mable at the Criterion Theatre, West End (Adam Kenwright/Watermill Theatre), and many more.
His TV credits include Love Soup for the BBC and prior to training, he played Stitch in OLIVER! directed by Sam Mendes at the London Palladium.


Alex Spinney – Prince Charming

Alex Spinney
Alex trained at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating last year with a Postgraduate Diploma in Musical Theatre. Prior to this, he studied Music at the University of Cambridge, where he won a Choral Scholarship with St John’s College Choir. Alex is “thrilled” to be making his pantomime debut in Stafford.

Theatre credits include: Lewis in Our House (UK Tour), Soloist in Maria Friedman in Concert (Ambassadors Theatre), Noble Eggleston in Little Me, Henrik Egerman in A Little Night Music, and Sidney in California Suite. Radio credits include Featured Soloist in BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night. Opera credits include Eugene Onegin (Richmond Theatre) and Shepherd Boy in Tosca (Royal Opera House) alongside Luciano Pavarotti.

Damien Walsh
Damien Walsh – Royal Messenger   
Damien trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. His credits include: Barry in Dreamcoats and Miniskirts (No.1 UK Tour), Barry in Dreamcoats and Petticoats (No.1 UK Tour)
Credits whilst training: Billy in Anything Goes, Jackson in The Hired Man, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Bobby in Company, Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, Tom in How Not to Disappear Completely.

Cinderella opens on Wednesday 10th December and runs until Saturday 10th January.
To book your tickets click here! 



Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Très Très Cabaret: Line Up for October 18th

Stafford's only cabaret and burlesque night is back with a bang this Saturday!
First to be announced was Shirley Windmill. She has performed at top cabaret nights all over London, Italy and Edinburgh. Shirley was named Time Out's Best Newcomer 2010 and was the finalist for both Tournament of Tease and Burlesque Idol. She was also crowned as Best Variety Newcomer at the prestigious London Burlesque Week 2011. Mixing old time music hall charm with comedy capers, Shirley creates show stealing acts to tickel your funny bone and thrill your heart!

Added next was Ruth Less; a poor little self-hating bundle of nerves in a skin suit. She came out of nowhere in 2013 to win the Miss Twin Peaks beauty pageant at the Double R Club, and subsequently received a nomination for a London Cabaret Award, but despite the acclaim, she still struggles to step outside of her bedroom due to a supreme lack of self-esteem brought on by her physical deformities, and a wariness about all forms of human interaction...Ruthie has been cajoled into appearing at Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Bethnal Green Working Men's Club and The Black Cap, and is about to release a sequence of short films.
Also dazzling Stafford will be burlesque star Vicky Butterfly. Her beautifully choreographed routines take in everything from the ethereal and the breath-taking to the macabre and the erotic: her poetic and retro-futuristic performances evoke influences from the Pre-Raphaelites to surreal cinema. She was the first burlesque performer to appear in a Bollywood film and can also be seen in the music videos and stadium projections of bands including The Verve, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age and Paul Weller.

Completing the stellar line up is razor sharp comedian and incredible magician Al Rudge! He's opened shows for comedy giants such as Alan Carr, Jo Brand and Lenny Henry and now he'll be bringing his quick wit and unbelievable magic tricks to the MET Studio!
It's set to be a spectacular night so make sure you snap up one of the last tickets by clicking here or calling our box office on 01785 619080.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Summer School Auditions: Sunday 18th May

Aspiring young thespians are being urged not to miss out on the opportunity to be part of Stafford Gatehouse Theatre’s Summer School production of Doctor Dolittle. Previous years have seen over 120 young people compete for 80 places. The successful applicants will get the opportunity to work with professional creative team and take part in workshops covering all they need to know about the theatrical world as well as rehearsing for the show.

The open auditions take place on Sunday 18th May 2014 at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre. Hopefuls must be aged between 7 and 21 years old and live in, or attend a school in Staffordshire. Auditions for 7-12 year olds will be at 9.30am and auditions for 13-21 year olds at 2pm.

Everyone attending the auditions must bring a passport photograph, which needs to be included with their application form. Application forms can be downloaded from the theatre website prior to the audition day and will also be available on the day. Full details of the auditions can be found on The auditions are great fun and a fantastic experience for youngsters with a passion for performing! 

Summer School will start on Monday 28th July and run until Saturday 16th August, with performances from Wednesday 13th August to Saturday 16th August. All successful applicants must be available for the duration of the rehearsal period and for all performances.  The fee for the three weeks is £225.00, with limited concessions available. More information is available by calling 01785 253 595.

 The classic tale of kindness to animals and animal kindnesses trots, crawls and flies onto the stage in a big Broadway-sized family musical. All of the characters (human and animal) we’ve come to love through the stories of Hugh Lofting and the magical movie musical are given new life in the stage version of Doctor Dolittle.

Tickets for Doctor Dolittle will be available to buy soon, with tickets available from just £8. Once on sale tickets can be purchased by visiting or by calling the Box Office on 01785 254653.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Full cast announcement for As You Like It

We are very excited to reveal the full cast for this year's Stafford Festival Shakespeare production! They're going to make it a very special show...

Esther Biddle


 Esther trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Bristol University. Her theatre credits include Beauty and The Beast (Clwyd Theatr Cymru) The Witches of Eastwick (The Watermill) Hansell and Gretel (Margate Theatre Royal) Animal Farm (Clwyd Theatr Cymru) The Comedy Of Errors (Stafford Festival Shakespeare) and Chess (UK No.1 Tour)


John Challis


John is best known for his role as 'Boycie' in Only Fools and Horses. After years of planning 'Boycie' and 'Marlene' starred in their own series The Green Green Grass which had four successful series on BBC1.

Shirley Darroch


Shirley recently won a Manchester Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Her theatre credits include Mama Morton in Chicago (Oldham Coliseum: Voted No.6 in Guardian's critics choice 2013) Wicked Witch of The West in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Hull Truck Theatre) and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (Birmingham Rep)


Jennifer Greenwood


Jennifer trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is returning to Stafford Festival Shakespeare, having played Hermia in last year's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Her theatre credits include Fairy Nuff in Jack and The Beanstalk (Swindon Wyvern) The Night Queen in The Night Queen (Belgrade Theatre Coventry) Lady MacDuff in Macbeth (Redgrave Theatre) Teacher in Health Wealth (Old Vic New Voices) She is also co-founder and one third of of the comedy cabaret group Three Little Maids.

James Haggie

Le Beau / Silvius

The highly talented actor and musician makes a welcome return to Stafford Festival Shakespeare following his brilliant comic performances as Balthasar in 2012's Romeo and Juliet and Flute in 2013's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Graham Kent

Duke Senior / Duke Frederick 

Graham makes a welcome return to SFS following his critically acclaimed performances in Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor. His West End credits include Miss Saigon (Drury Lane) playing the lead role of engineer on several occasions, Aladdin (Shaw Theatre) and TinTin in Tibet (Barbican). Graham's film credits include: Disney's 'The Muppets Most Wanted' and the 20th Century Fox Film 'From Hell'.


Daniel Lloyd


Alongside his succesful acting career Daniel is also a professionally signed guitarist and singer / songwriter. His recent film credits include Disney's 'The Muppets Most Wanted'.


Joshua Manning


Joshua trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Prior to his time there he studied Theatre and Music at the University of Glasgow. His theatre credits include Feste in Twelfth Night (Drayton Theatre) Kent in King Lear (The Rose Bankside) and his Television credits include Krrk Krrspltx in Intergalatic Kitchen (BBC)

Alex Parry

Charles / Jacques de Bois 

Alex's theatre credits include Tom: the Story of Tom Jones (Theatr Na N'Og) Jackie: The Musical (Gardyne Theatre Dundee) and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (UK Tour). His Television credits include: Torchwood, Dirk Gently (BBC) and Alex provides most of the voices in Channel 4's Empire Square.

Eric Potts


Eric's recent theatre credits include Les Dawson/Ada in Cissie and Ada (National Tour) Danny in Brassed Off, Major Wyndham-Pitts in A Little Local Difficulty, Al in April in Paris and Oliver Hardy in Laurel and Hardy.


Tom Radford


Tom's theatre credits include Othello (National Theatre)  The Robbers, Thebes, Hamlet, Mary Stuart, Twelfth Night and Miss Julie (The Faction) The Wizard of Oz (Hull Truck) Twelfth Night and Masters Are You Mad? (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre) and The Shoemaker's Holiday (RSC Summer Festival)

Georgina White 


Georgina trained at RADA. She was recently seen as Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream for Stafford Festival Shakespeare. Her other theatre credits include Blonde Bombshells of 1943 (New VIc Theatre, Oldham Coliseum) The Wind In The Willows (West Yorkshire Playhouse) Forever Young (Nottingham Playhouse, New Wolsey Theatre) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Theatre Royal, Northampton) Up On The Roof (UK Tour) and Oklahoma! (Peacock Theatre, London/UK Tour)



Johnson Willis
Adam / Corin

This is Johnson's third production at Stafford Festival Shakespeare having been in Twelfth Night and Comedy of Errors. He is an Associate Member of Clwyd Theatr Cymru where productions include Silas Marner, Twelfth Night, King Lear, The Cherry Orchard and Animal Farm. Other productions include Mother Courage (Manchester Library Theatre) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (English Shakespeare Company)

As You Like It opens at Stafford Castle on Sunday 29th June and runs until Saturday 12th July. Tickets are on sale now and you can book yours by clicking here or by calling our box office on 01785 254653.