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Latest panto announcement featuring Rufus Hound and TV stars!

Rufus Hound joins Norwich Theatre Royal’s pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk as King Nigel alongside Dayle Hudson as Nightshade and Sally Hodgkiss will play Jill.


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Rufus Hound will take on the role of King Nigel in the pantomime. Rufus is best known for making people laugh as a stand-up comedian and his stretch on Celebrity Juice. He has also appeared in Argumental, My Teenage Diary, Hounded and Trollied. He also featured in Doctor Who as Sam Swift and took to the ice in ITV’s reality series Dancing on Ice. 

Joining Rufus is Sally Hodgkiss, an award-winning actor, writer and comedian. Sally has appeared in episodes of EastEnders and is a frequent performer with her improv comedy at the Edinburgh Festival. Her live comedy performances include the Comedy Store Players and Whose Line is it Anyway? Live.

She will be taking on the role of Jill in this year’s show. Speaking about the role Sally said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the incredible cast of Jack and the Beanstalk this year! Norwich Theatre Royal is renowned throughout the UK for its Panto, and really there’s no better way to celebrate the festive season than a night of laughter, song and booing at baddies. I just wish we could start rehearsals today!”

Also being announced is Dayle Hudson most known for his role as Peter Beale in EastEnders. He is thrilled to be playing Nightshade and give it the evilness the part deserves!

Wendy Ellis Creative Programme Director at Norwich Theatre, said: 

“We are delighted that our King Nigel will be played by Rufus Hound, who will undoubtedly bring his comic timing and sharp wit to the role. Sally, who is a talented improv comic, will make sure the audience will be laughing throughout the show. Every panto needs a baddie and we are thrilled to welcome Dayle Hudson as Nightshade.

“Rufus, Sally and Dayle will be in good company, joining Casualty star Amanda Henderson as Pat the Cow and Britain’s Got Talent’s Linda John-Pierre as Fairy Fullobeans. Joe Tracini will be playing the title role of Jack. Plus Norwich’s favourite panto dame Richard Gauntlett. This will mark Richard’s 22nd pantomime appearance at Norwich Theatre.


“Last year, Joe Tracini won the hearts and minds of the Norwich Theatre audiences as Tommy the Cat. Joe was recognised for changing perceptions and raising awareness of mental health through his pantomime performance in this role receiving the Special Recognition Award at the 2022 Pantomime Awards.

“With this fantastic cast, Jack and the Beanstalk is shaping up to be a spectacular and exciting celebration that will be perfect for the festive season.”


A message from Rufus Hound and Sally Hodgkiss