Howard Ward will swap the solemn subject matter of acclaimed National Theatre productions War Horse and London Road, in which he has previously performed, to take on the altogether less serious role of Dame Moreen Dripp in the Lyric Hammersmith’s 2013 Christmas pantomime Jack And The Beanstalk.
The actor, who also appeared in the original cast of current hit The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, joins previously announced Lyric panto regular Steven Webb alongside Nigel Richards, Rochelle Rose, Joshua Tonks and Hannah Scarlett in the festive offering, which plays at the venue from 23 November to 4 January.
While Scarlett returns to the Hammersmith venue following performances in Cinderella and Desire Under The Elms to a-moo-se audiences as Caroline the Cow, Richards, Rose and Tonks will take on the roles of villain Mr Fleshcreep, Jack and Jill following recent performances elsewhere in the capital.
Musical theatre performer Richards has been seen in long-running West End shows The Phantom Of The Opera and Les Misérables, Rose was last seen on the London stage in One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show at the Tricycle theatre and Tonks appeared in the cast of this year’s Regent’s Park Open Air theatre hit The Sound Of Music.
Combining conventional aspects of the well-known story, including magic beans, an evil giant and a journey to a kingdom high up in the clouds, with the somewhat less traditional fitness craze Zumba, Jack And The Beanstalk promises an evening of fun-filled festive entertainment for everyone aged six and older.
Directed by Dan Herd, the Lyric Hammersmith’s 2013 pantomime is written by The Kitchen Sink playwright Tom Wells, whose new play Jumpers For Goalposts is set to open at the Bush theatre next month.