Just when you thought the likes of Ian Beale and Phil Mitchell couldn’t get anymore loathsome or villainous, along comes Panto fever!
Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian ‘the Squeal’ Beale in BBC award-winning soap, EastEnders, has announced that come the festive season he will be swapping his chip shop spatula for a shiny new hook when he treads the boards as Captain Hook in pantomime this Christmas at the Beck’s Theatre, Hayes in what will be his first pantomime performance in 18 years.
Woodyatt, who has played the slimy bit-piece East End entrepreneur in the soap since the soap began, made the announcement via social networking site, Twitter, tweeting: “Really pleased that I will be playing Captain Hook in the Christmas pantomime this year at the Beck’s Theatre, Hayes ”
It would seem that the pantomime fever is sweeping through soap land this year (Oh no it isn’t), with several surprise names being linked to the traditional Yule tide entertainment. The day after his departure from Emmerdale, Danny Miller, who played Aaron Livesy in the show, announced on ITV’s This Morning that his next role would be Prince Charming in Blackpool, commenting at the time: “I am doing pantomime in December in Blackpool. I’m going to be Prince Charming,” he said.”They’ve asked me if I can sing, which is worrying me a little bit, because I’m not very good. I can sing in the shower!”
Another soapy panto star this year is Woodyatt’s EastEnders co-star, Steve McFadden who plays Beale’s arch nemesis, Phil Mitchell in the show. McFadden announced his upcoming performance of Abanazar in Aladdin at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford earlier this year, commenting at the time: “I am delighted to be playing the part of Abanazar in Dartford this year. Playing the pantomime bad guy is such great fun, and there are lots of opportunities to interact with the audience during the show. The Orchard in Dartford has a great reputation – I’m really looking forward to playing there this Christmas.”
With all this festive cheer and celebration, one massive question seems to have been left unanswered, With McFadden and Woodyatt both in panto this year, who will ruin Christmas for Walford?
To see Woodyatt’s performance in EastEnders take on A Christmas Carol, watch the clip below: