Northampton's Royal & Derngate to show Dick Whittington and The Gruffalo for Christmas

"We can't wait to bring some spectacle, magic and laughter to Northampton this Christmas! It really will be the perfect festive treat for all your family"

By Megan Hillery
Monday, 14th June 2021, 4:09 pm
Updated Monday, 14th June 2021, 4:10 pm
Dick Whittington - coming to Northampton's Royal & Derngate this Christmas.
Dick Whittington - coming to Northampton's Royal & Derngate this Christmas.

Northampton s Royal & Derngate have announced the casting for its hilarious, fun-filled pantomime Dick Whittington, along with the festive running of children's picture book classic, The Gruffalo.

Soap star, Ricky Champ (Eastenders) will be leading the cast of Dick Whittington as the dastardly King Rat. Children's favourite, Phil Gallagher (Cbeebies' Mister Maker) takes the role of the loveable Billy, the top Pantomime Dame - Bob Golding - will assume the role of Dame Dolly and the magical Fairy Bowbells will be portrayed by state and screen actress Debroah Tracey.

With a host of other performers to be announced, Royal & Derngate claims that Dick Whittington is shaping up to be "Northampton's best pantomime yet."

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Chief executive at Royal & Derngate, Jo Gordon, speaking about the launch of the theatre's new partnership with award-winning pantomime producer, Evolution Productions, said: "All our teams from marketing to front of house, stage management to technical are truly excited about the new partnership and looking forward to working alongside Evolution Productions on this year’s spectacular pantomime Dick Whittington.

"With The Gruffalo alongside it, we’ve got a fantastic festive offering for all ages. After a difficult year, we understand the importance of spending time together at Christmas.

"So we can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best and provide a destination for many Northamptonshire families to make the festive season extra special!”

Three-time winner of Pantomime of The Year in the Great British Pantomime Awards over the last four years, Evolution Productions, is a family business that is run by husband-and-wife team, Paul Hendy and Emily Wood. They pride themselves in producing exceptional bespoke pantomimes, strong casting and laugh-out-loud scripts with an emphasis on the high quality production values and fantastic effects that Northampton audiences have grown to expect.

Written by Paul Hendy and directed by Emily Wood, Dick Whittington promises to be "spectacular, top quality, entertainment with lavish sets, and a hilarious script."

Director and Producer of Dick Whittington, Emily Wood, said: "After such a challenging year, we all need something to cheer us up!

"Dick Whittington is the classic rags to riches story, and shows us that we can all be heroes!

"We can't wait to bring some spectacle, magic and laughter to Northampton this Christmas! It really will be the perfect festive treat for all your family."

Royal & Derngate will not be producing its own Christmas show in the Royal auditorium this year, however, the theatre will be presenting the much-loved children's show, The Gruffalo, over the festive period.

Tall Stories' magical, musical adaption of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler offers songs, laughs and monstrous fun for all the family to enjoy.

Panto star, Phil Gallagher, said: “I have very many happy memories of launching the Mister Maker and The Shapes LIVE Tour at Royal & Derngate in 2015 and I can't wait to work with the team again.

"I am so happy to be spending Panto season in Northampton...and it is going to be an amazing show!"

Dick Whittington will run from Thursday, December 9 to Sunday, January 2 while The Gruffalo can be seen from Monday, December 13 until Sunday, January 2.

Ticket buyers who had booked for the postponed 2020 performances of Dick Whittington have been contacted directly and moved into these new dates.

For more information and to book tickets, go to or call Box Office on 01604 624811.