There were twice the tears and double the joy as Lighthouse came away from the star studded 2022/23 Pantomime Awards, hosted by showbiz legend Christopher Biggins at the Trafalgar Theatre in London's West End, last night with a top award.
Andrew Pollard and Alim Jadavji won Best Sisters for their hilariously memorable Nadine and Doris in Cinderella, produced by Lighthouse and written and directed by CBeebies star Chris Jarvis. The show was also nominated as Best Panto, losing out to theatre giant Sir Ian McKellen in Mother Goose; while Lauren Azania’s astonishing performance as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother deservedly earned her a nomination for the Carmen Silvera Award for Best Magical Being.
“What a night – the awards were every bit as fab as we hoped and our Ugly Sisters were crowned the best all the land,” said delighted Lighthouse Chief Executive Elspeth McBain.
“We’re so proud, not only of Andrew and Alim who were absolutely brilliant, but also of Lauren whose Fairy was out of this world. And if our Cinderella is going to miss out on Best Panto, we’re only too happy to lose to Sir Ian McKellen.”
The UK Pantomime Association’s 64 judges attended more than 240 venues to see over 700 performances, far and wide across the United Kingdom.
Cinderella was nominated as Best Panto (500-900 seats), but the title went to Mother Goose at the Duke of York’s Theatre, starring Sir Ian McKellen who was also honoured with a special award in recognition of his ‘passionate advocacy and services to the artform of pantomime’.
Elspeth added: “As an independent regional producer, to be honoured by our peers is a real privilege and such a thrill. Huge congratulations and thanks everyone who was involved in making Cinderella the most creatively successful pantomime that Lighthouse has enjoyed.
“And a special thanks to our special friend, Chris Jarvis, who is quite simply a panto genius. Not only did he write and direct Cinderella, he played Buttons brilliantly. And he’s already working really hard to make Aladdin every bit as good, if not even better, for this year.
“We know how much our audiences love our family pantomimes and are truly grateful they keep coming back. It spurs us on to try even harder to bring them something special and we can’t wait to see what they make of Aladdin.”
Tickets are on sale now for Aladdin, which runs from Thursday 7 to Sunday 31 December at www.lighthousepoole.co.uk.