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Father Christmas at the Lyric Hammersmith (Photo: Simon Annand)

Father Christmas at the Lyric Hammersmith (Photo: Simon Annand)

Barry McCarthy makes Lyric’s Christmas

First Published 15 September 2014, Last Updated 29 October 2014

Barry McCarthy will return to the Lyric Hammersmith this Christmas to reprise his role as everyone’s favourite festive gift bearer in Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas.

He is joined at the venue by John Lightbody, who will make his pantomime dame debut as fun-loving cook Baps in the Lyric’s highly anticipated annual show, which comes in the form of Dick Whittington And His Cat for 2014.

McCarthy, who originated the title role in Briggs’ tale in 2012, will return to the Lyric’s studio space to make more of Santa Claus’ Christmas deliveries from 14 November to 31 December. The Pins And Needles production uses live music, playful puppets and a magical set to bring the timeless festive story to life for children under six and their families.

Lightbody, whose credits at the Lyric Hammersmith include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will take on his cross-dressing duties in Dick Whittington And His Cat from 22 November to 3 January. Playing on the venue’s main stage, Tom Wells’ hilarious new take on the classic story follows the young title character as he sets off from Hull in search of his fortune in London. With Queen Rat in control of the capital, Dick must join forces with his reluctant feline sidekick to defeat her in an adventure that takes him from Hammersmith to the North Pole.

Directed by the Dan Herd, who lent his comic theatrical touch to last year’s festive hit Jack And The Beanstalk, the Lyric’s sixth annual pantomime is suitable for children aged six and older.

Casting amendment 29 October 2014: John Lightbody will no longer appear in the production. The role of Baps will now be played by Stewart Wright.

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