'Beauty And The Beast' star is always happy to talk Cobblers, as he returns to his roots to play Panto at The Deco

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Actor Tony Howes says he is delighted to have the chance to appear in Panto in his home town - and cannot wait to tread the boards at The Deco Theatre in December.

Duston born Tony plays Nurse Jackie in the Deco’s Christmas production of ‘Beauty And The Beast’, which opens on December 11 and runs until the 29th of that month. His co-stars include former Coronation Street actor Nicholas Cochrane, Karl James Wilson of Hollyoaks fame, Lydia Lucy, Kim Taylforth, and Crossroads legend, Angela Webb. 

“It’s a fantastic Panto, and we will do it proud at the Deco,” said Tony, who can currently be seen in Midsomer Murders on ITV 3. “We have a terrific cast of very talented performers, and supporting us we have a wonderfully talented production team. It didn’t take me long to see why Panto at the Deco has become so popular in Northampton.”

As an actor, Tony is an established stage and screen performer. As well as Midsomer Murders, his on-screen credits include Emmerdale, The Bill, Casualty, Doctors, and - earlier in his career - in a number of children’s TV programmes, including one, many years ago, with Ant n Dec. 

On stage, he is very proud that he was the London West End’s original Adrian Mole when Su Townsend’s popular character transferred onto the stage. He has also performed on Broadway in the USA while previous Panto appearances have won him rave reviews.

“I love Panto,” he said. “Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas for me without Panto, and having a great role in a show where I’ll be able to have lots of fun and interaction with the audience, as I will at the Deco in December, is right up my street. I’m going to love every minute of it.”

And performing in Northampton will add a little more sparkle for Tony. “I love Northampton; it’s my hometown,” he said. “I’m a proud lifelong fan of The Cobblers, and always love talking about Northampton Town FC.

“I also follow the Saints and the county cricket club, and I have a home here - I divide my time between London, where much of my work is, and my lovely home in Abington.

“It’s going to be great being so near to work from home, and just as importantly, it’s going to be lovely getting around town and beyond, meeting local people, and promoting our wonderful show.” 

Last year, Tony performed his one-man show - an adaption of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ - in Abington Park Museum. “I’m very proud of my hometown, and performing here is always very special, and being invited to appear at the Deco is fantastic, I can’t wait.”

Tony will be appearing in Panto at The Deco from December 11 to 29.

Tickets that start from just £10 can be bought online at www.thedeco.co.uk, in person at The Deco Theatre in Abington Square between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday, or by phone: 01604 622749.