Carrie Hope Fletcher will make her panto debut in Sleeping Beauty alongside Ore Oduba

·2-min read
 (Dave Benett)
(Dave Benett)

Phew, there’s something to look forward to in winter: it has been announced that Grammy-nominated actor Carrie Hope Fletcher will play the villain Carabosse in an upcoming pantomime production of Sleeping Beauty.

She is headlining the show alongside Ore Oduba, who is playing Prince Orlando.

Fletcher, 29, has been acting in the theatre for over two decades. She began her career with a role in Les Misérables back in 2001 and has been in dozens of West End and Off-West End shows ever since, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol, The Wind In The Willows and The Witches of Eastwick.

One of her most prominent roles to date was playing Cinderella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 2021 production of Cinderella for which she won a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Oduba has been a BBC stalwart for decades: presenting CBBC’s Newsround for five years, being BBC Breakfast’s Sport Presenter for five years, and winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2016.

After a successful career as a TV and radio presenter, Oduba began acting in musical theatre in 2019. He played Teen Angel in a 2019 UK tour of Grease and in 2021 he played Brad Majors in a UK Tour of Rocky Horror Show.

The Sleeping Beauty cast is also set to include Jennie Dale, whose West End credits include Les Misérables and Mary Poppins, Ben Roddy, who was in 2016’s Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and Ellie Kingdon, who played Sandy in the 2021 UK tour of Grease.

Writing on her Instagram, Fletcher said: “Oh no she isn’t! OH YES I AM! This Christmas I will be making not only my Panto debut…but my VILLAIN debut as Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty @marlowetheatre !!!

“I am beyond excited to cast some wicked spells and put fear into the hearts of children all in the name of Christmas spirit!”

Speaking to WhatsOnStage, Fletcher added: “The fact that I was asked to play the villain was a very, very big draw for me.

Wednesday Addams was probably the closest I ever got to playing a villain and I really enjoyed playing a slightly darker character and so just playing an outright villain is going to be so much fun. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to being booed before!”

The Marlowe Theatre opened in 1984 and is located in the centre of Canterbury. It has a capacity of 1,200 people, which should make for one noisy and exciting pantomime.

Sleeping Beauty will run at The Marlowe Theatre from November 25 to January 8. Tickets can be found here.

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