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A galaxy of stars bring panto magic to Cardiff.

SPARKLING glass slippers, a pair of Ugly Sisters, a handsome prince and the most popular rags-to-riches story of all time can mean only one thing - the magical pantomime Cinderella. This year a galaxy of stars bring traditional panto magic to Cardiff for the New Theatre's pantomime.

The New Theatre's production of Cinderella will be packed with comedy, stunning scenery, fabulous costumes and lots of pantomime magic as Cinderella swaps her rags for a ball gown.

Any Dream Will Do winner and Casualty star Lee Mead will lead the cast in the role of Prince Charming. Joining Lee is Linda Lusardi as The Fairy Godmother, Sam Kane and Mike Doyle as the Ugly Sisters, comedian Andy Jones as Buttons and Wales' very own sporting hero, Gareth Thomas in the role of Dandini.

Lee shot to fame when he won BBC's Any Dream Will Do, Andrew Lloyd Webber's search to find the lead in his production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Lee subsequently enjoyed a successful run in the hit musical at London's Adelphi Theatre which was acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Since then he has established himself as one of the leading names in musical theatre, having played Fiyero in Wicked and Emmett in Legally Blonde and was a founder member of The West End Men concert show which has played the UK and overseas.

Linda's many stage roles include Funny Peculiar, Bedside Manner, Not Now Darling, Pygmalion and Rock with Laughter. As well as many summer seasons and performing in every major pantomime around the country, Linda has appeared on countless television programmes including Celebrity Masterchef, Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Dancing On Ice, Loose Women, The Bill, Brookside and in Emmerdale where she played the role of Carrie Nichols.

Comedian and funny man Andy Jones will play the pantomime's unsung hero Buttons. Andy's talent and natural comedic timing have seen him become a firm favourite with pantomime audiences over the years. Cinderella marks his seventh New Theatre pantomime appearance.

Sam has appeared in numerous stage shows including Popstar, the West End production of The Rat Pack, Hot Flush!, Simply Ballroom, Carousel, Boogie Nights and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to name but a few. On television he is best known for starring in Brookside, and has also appeared in Hollyoaks, The Royal, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Gareth, known as Alfie owing to his resemblance to a cartoon character called Alf, was the first Welsh player to reach 100 caps and is one of the most iconic and respected figures in the world sport, being voted BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 2005. Off the field he has also enjoyed appearances on Channel 5's Celebrity Big Brother where he finished third, and was a semi-finalist in ITV1's Dancing On Ice in 2013.

Jonathan Kiley, Executive Producer of Cinderella said: "I'm thrilled to have assembled this galaxy of stars for the New Theatre's spectacular pantomime. It's been a while since Cinderella was last staged at the Theatre and it seems fitting that its return features such an incredible cast. This brand-new production is set to be the most spectacular Cardiff has ever seen."

Grant McFarlane, General Manager of the New Theatre said: "The New Theatre has the enviable reputation of presenting Wales' number one pantomime each and every year. I can say with complete confidence that Cinderella this festive season will delight panto-goers of all ages. Roll on December 13th!" Cinderella will be staged by Qdos Entertainment, the world's largest pantomime producer, and the company behind the New Theatre's record-breaking production last year.

Cinderella runs at the New Theatre |from Saturday, December 13, 2014, to Sunday, January 18, 2015. Tickets for this unmissable Christmas show start from as little as PS10.50 with offers available for families and others. They can be booked on 029 2087 8889 or online at www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

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Linda Lusardi plays Cinderella

The stars of Cinderella
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 5, 2014
Words:658
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