London theatre regular Clive Rowe will be digging out his inner diva this Christmas as he returns to the Hackney Empire to play Mother Goose.
Rowe, who received an Olivier Award nomination for his original performance as Mother Goose in 2009, is joined in the cast by another returning star, Sharon D Clarke.
Clarke, who won an Olivier Award earlier this year for her performance in the National Theatre’s The Amen Corner, follows her performance in last year’s Puss In Boots by playing the good enchantress Charity in this year’s panto.
The panto, the 16th to be written and directed by Hackney’s Creative Director Susie McKenna, reunites Rowe and Clarke, who appeared together at the venue earlier this year in Blues In The Night and in the original 2008 production of Mother Goose.
Set in Hackneytopia, the seasonal show features a battle between two enchantresses – the good Charity and evil Vanity – for the soul of leading lady Mother Goose. Will she be saved by Princess Priscilla, a goose who lays golden eggs?
In addition to his panto nomination, Rowe won the Olivier Award for his performance in the National Theatre’s production of Guys And Dolls, one of the performer’s many credits at the South Bank venue, which include Carousel, Caroline Of Change, Candide and, most recently, The Light Princess.
Prior to her Hackney return Clarke, who boasts credits including We Will Rock You, Ghost, Hairspray and Chicago, can be found spending the summer at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, where she is starring in Porgy And Bess.
The full cast for Mother Goose, which plays from 22 November to 4 January, is yet to be announced.