TV bad boy Ross Kemp, best known as the hard-hitting Grant Mitchell in EastEnders, takes to the pantomime stage this Christmas when he plays a villainous henchman in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs at the New Wimbledon theatre. Starring alongside Kemp are entertainer and panto favourite Bobby Davro, big screen veteran Warwick Davis and the winner of BBC Radio 2's Voice Of Musical Theatre, Aimee Atkinson.
Kemp became famous playing Walford's favourite hard man between 1990 and 1999. After six years away from Albert Square, during which time his projects included Sgt Henry Garvie in SAS drama Ultimate Force, he returned to the Queen Vic for a year in 2005. No stranger to festive tales, Kemp played Eddie Scrooge in a television adaptation of A Christmas Carol. In 2007, Kemp received the BAFTA Award for Best Factual Series for Ross Kemp On Gangs.
"Having spent some time dodging bullets in Afghanistan and knives in Columbia," Kemp said, "I'm sure I can handle a few Fruit Pastilles being hurled at me in Wimbledon. I am really looking forward to playing the ultimate pantomime villain in Snow White this Christmas."
Davro, who plays Muddles the court jester, is becoming a pantomime regular at the New Wimbledon, having previously appeared last year playing Smee opposite Henry Winkler's Captain Hook in Peter Pan. The entertainer, who was at the peak of his popularity in the 80s and 90s, may be asking Kemp for some advice as he is soon to be seen in EastEnders.
Davis plays the chief dwarf, Prof. His most recent big screen outings have come in the Harry Potter series, in which he plays Professor Flitwick, and his other films include fantasy adventure Willow, in which he played the eponymous hero, and Return Of The Jedi. This production of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs will be the 11th in which he has performed.
Atkinson, who plays Snow White, won the 2006 Voice Of Musical Theatre. Her previous credits include Sofia in Days Of Hope at the King's Head, Zoya in Bedbug The Musical at the Trestle theatre and Eurobeat at this year's Edinburgh Festival.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs runs at the New Wimbledon from 7 December until 20 January.