As Janey Godley exits from His Majesty’s panto it raises the question of who might replace her in Beauty And The Beast.
Aberdeen Performing Arts say a casting announcement will be made later this year on who will be joining Laura Main, Alan McHugh, Paul-James Corrigan and Danielle Jam for the festive treat in Aberdeen.
HMT has form for attracting big names – it even had Holywood legend Honor Blackman in Snow White back in 1986 and Aussie soap stars like Alan Fletcher and Stefan Dennis were also popular.
For the longest time, the queen of the HMT panto was Elaine C Smith, who took the starring role for eight years before bowing out with Dick McWhittington in 2016.
With Elaine firmly in place for Cinderella at the King’s in her hometown of Glasgow this Christmas, she won’t be in the running for coming to Aberdeen.
Glittering roster of big name panto stars
Recent panto stars, Lee Mead and Louie Spence have already been cast in other cities, so are out of the running, while health issues look likely to rule out a return of Jimmy Osmond, who starred in Aladdin in 2017.
However, the HMT panto is staged by Crossroads Pantomimes, the world’s biggest pantomime producer.
It has shows at theatres across the length and breadth of Britain with a glittering roster of household names taking the stage every Christmas.
This year alone, some of the talent starring in Crossroads pantos include Donny Osmond, Jason Donovan, Anton Du Beke, Julian Clary, Joe Pasquale and Faye Tozer.
Announcement will grab headlines
It is fair to say almost any face in any TV show or music act in the country could easily be a contender for His Majesty’s – even at this late stage of preparations for panto season.
And Crossroads also like to go for the unexpected – Janey Godley’s casting this year came as a surprise to many, even before the controversy, given she has always sharply divided opinion.
Only one thing is for sure, whatever announcement comes about who will grace the stage for Beauty And The Beast it will grab headlines… oh yes, it will.