Theatre News

Sean Holmes helms first Lyric panto starring Webb & Atherton

Lyric Hammersmith artistic director Sean Holmes will take the reigns of his first panto this Christmas, directing Cinderella this starring Julie Atherton and Steven Webb.

Holmes, who has been in post for three years, makes his pantomime directing debut with the production – for the past three years the Lyric’s Christmas shows have been helmed by Soho Theatre artistic director Steve Marmion.

Holmes will collaborate with Joel Horwood and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm who have scripted every Lyric pantomime since the art form was re-introduced to the theatre at the beginning of Holmes’ tenure. The Lyric’s 2012 Christmas show will run from 24 November 2012 to 6 January 2013.

Julie Atherton takes the pantomime’s title role. She starred in the original West End production of Avenue Q with her other musical theatre credits include Fame, Notes from New York and Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre.

Atherton has released two studio albums; A Girl of Few Words and No Space for Air, and is currently playing Sister Mary Robert in the first UK tour of Sister Act.

Steven Webb plays Buttons and returns to the Lyric having starred in 2010’s Dick Whittington and His Cat and played Wishy Washy in last year’s Aladdin.

His West End credits include the lead role in Sam MendesOliver! and Scrooge, both at the Palladium, as well as The History Boys at Wyndham’s and Betwixt! at Trafalgar Studios.

He has appeared in Channel 4’s The Inbetweeners and starred in the original production of Simon Stephens’ Olivier Award-winning On the Shore of the Wide World. Webb also joins the team as creative associate.

Further casting for Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith is still to be announced.

Speaking about his involvement in this year’s Christmas show Webb said in a press statement: “I’m so excited to be coming back to the Lyric for my third panto. It always has such a unique style and collaborative approach that I truly can’t wait to see what we come up with.”

Sean Holmes’ productions for the Lyric have included the Olivier Award-winning Blasted and Ghost Stories which subsequently transferred to the West End. His other directing credits include The Man Who Had All the Luck at the Donmar Warehouse, The Entertainer at the Old Vic and several collaborations theatre company Filter, including Twelfth Night and the recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which came to the Lyric following a national tour.