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Wednesday 12 May 2004 14:00 BST
Jack And The Beanstalk
DCast in costume outside the Hippodrome
Cast in costume

Joe Pasquale, Letitia Dean and Don Maclean will star in the Hippodrome's pantomine this year.

At the launch today, hundreds of people met the stars of the show.

SEE ALSO

Stage index

Christmas
Start looking forward to it now! Food, traditions and history from BBC Lifestyle.

Video Nation
Jamie from Bradford take two weeks off his job as a policeman to star in panto.

Make a panto theatre
The CBeebies website shows you how to make a Jack And The Beanstalk set!

WEB LINKS

Birmingham Hippodrome
Visit the website for information and to book online.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

FACTS

The word 'pantomime' is made up of two Greek word:"panto" meaning 'all kinds' and "mimos", silent acting - mime.

The most commonly performed panto is "Cinderella", followed by "Aladdin", "Dick Whittington" and "Snow White".

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Two eight metre tall boots stood outside the Hippodrome to mark the launch, then a trail of beans and balloons led the audience inside.

Joe Pasquale

Joe Pasquale with two cast members
Joe Pasquale with two cast members

Leading the cast, comedian Joe Pasquale will play Jack in the UK's biggest pantomime.

Joe started his career on stage at the Hippodrome 18 years ago. "I don't have to lie to you," he said, "I love performing in Birmingham!"

 

Letitia Dean

Letitia Dean in costume
Letitia Dean in costume

Actor Letitia Dean, who plays Sharon Watts in BBC One's EastEnders, will play the princess.

She couldn't attend the launch but recorded a message which was relayed to the crowd on a video screen.

Don Maclean

Starring as Dame Trot, Birmingham personality Don Maclean will take to the stage in his eleventh season as pantomime dame. Don has appeared in 33 pantomimes in total!

Don Maclean in costume
Don Maclean in costume

Don played the dame in the Hippodrome's production of Jack And The Beanstalk 11 years ago; playing Jack then was Su Pollard.

Biggest and best

Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of The Hippodrome, said that, "it's bizarre to be thinking about Christmas in May", but stressed the planning that goes into "the biggest and best panto in the country". Over 100,000 people see the Hippodrome's panto during its six and a half week run (one of the longest in the UK).

Audience
Audience watch the launch

Producing the show for Qdos Entertainment, Nick Thomas emphasised the "family experience" of pantomime and promised "the biggest giant in panto".

The giant could not attend the launch... because he hasn't been built yet!

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