July 29, 2022 12.30 pm This story is over 23 months old

Kerry Katona to join Jake Quickenden for Lincoln Christmas panto

Oh, yes they are!

By Local Democracy Reporter

Lincoln’s New Theatre Royal unveiled details of this year’s Christmas pantomime, which will see TV personalities Kerry Katona and Jake Quickenden star in a production of Cinderella.

The annual Christmas pantomime production at Lincoln’s New Theatre Royal is returning with its largest celebrity cast ever, drafting in big names from the world of television.

This year the production will be Cinderella, running at the theatre from Tuesday, December 6, 2022 to Sunday, January 8, 2023. Tickets are available now from the New Theatre Royal website, starting from £23 with packages in place for family tickets.

Jake Quickenden, Kerry Katona and Ian Waite all booked for this year’s Lincoln Christmas Panto! | Photo: New Theatre Royal Lincoln

Lincolnshire-born Jake Quickenden, who made his name on the X factor, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, and Dancing On Ice, will be returning to the NTR pantomime, after his stellar performance as Flash Hugo in 2021’s Beauty and the Beast production.

Jake will this time be adopting the role of the Fairy Godfather, which will be split between two recognisable faces throughout the month-long production.

Scunthorpe-born Jake Quickenden plays the part of baddie Flash Hugo in 2021’s Christmas pantomime. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

From opening night until Christmas Eve, Jake Quickenden will be Fairy Godfather, and from Boxing Day until January 8’s closer, it will be Strictly Come Dancing’s Ian Waite taking over.

Ian said: “I’ve performed at the New Theatre Royal Lincoln several times over the years, and the audiences have always been wonderful. So, I can’t wait to see everyone again when I ‘Cha-Cha’ my way onto the stage this festive season.”

They will be joined by Kerry Katona, who soared to notoriety as part of British pop group Atomic Kitten in the late 90s, before winning I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2004 and finishing as runner up in the eighth series of Celebrity Big Brother in 2011.

Kerry Katona will be returning to New Theatre Royal Lincoln for another Christmas Panto production of Cinderella. | Photo: New Theatre Royal Lincoln

Kerry will be playing the role of Ugly Sister Botox, returning to the New Theatre Royal stage for the first time since 2016’s Christmas pantomime, again a Cinderella production, where she played the Fairy Godmother.

Ahead of her return, Kerry said: “I am super excited to be back at the beautiful New Theatre Royal Lincoln. It was the place where I did my very first panto, and I am utterly grateful to be returning.

“I can’t wait to see the crowds again, and for everyone to see the show. And I’m doing it with my daughter too, which will be amazing!”

Also on the cast are popular comedian Patrick Monahan, Kerry Katona’s daughter Lily McFadden, and the New Theatre Royal’s very own artistic director Natalie Hayes-Cowley.

Natalie Hayes-Cowley, the theatre’s Artistic Director and the show’s producer. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Hayes-Cowley has taken a six-year break from the stage after taking the reins at New Theatre Royal Lincoln with her husband in 2016. She said she can’t wait to get back to performing, even if it does feel “strange”.

“I love creating shows and I’m proud that we have produced 30 In-House Productions here at the theatre since 2016, but I’ve missed performing and wanted to scratch that itch this year.

And Cinderella will be all the more special as I’ll be performing alongside my two daughters, something I haven’t done since 2011 when they performed with me in a Christmas Carol here at the theatre, and I know Kerry is equally thrilled to be performing with Lilly too.

The New Theatre Royal’s artistic director also took time to thank those who supported last year’s pantomime: “We would also like to thank everyone that came see Beauty & the Beast last year. We were beyond grateful for all the support, especially after the show was cancelled the year before because of the pandemic.

“Because of our patrons’ support, it was the highest grossing pantomime in the venue’s history, which is huge because we have been able to re-invest that money into the upkeep of our theatre.

“But we’re not resting on our laurels, we’re back with our biggest celebrity cast to date and we’re raising the bar higher again. This show will be an absolute belter with something for everyone, young and old!”