Diversity, Ashley Banjo and Kev Orkian cast in Mayflower’s pantomime

Diversity, Ashley Banjo and Kev Orkian cast in Mayflower’s pantomime

Mayflower Theatre has announced further star casting for this year’s giant pantomime spectacular, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Joining the previously announced Britain’s Got Talent winners and street dance sensations, Ashley Banjo and Diversity, will be award-winning actor and stand-up comedian, Kev Orkian – who will be returning to Mayflower Theatre after a sensational season appearing alongside Ashley Banjo and Diversity in their record breaking 2023 pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Ashley Banjo and Diversity will play Jack and the family Trott, Kev Orkian will play Silly Simon.

Renowned musician, actor and comedian, Kev Orkian, began his career as a classical concert pianist, before making the transition into the world of comedy, solidifying his reputation as one of the artform’s most popular performers.

His vast repertoire has seen him supporting some of the biggest names in UK comedy, appearing on stage across the world, including at the Sydney Opera House, the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and Windsor Castle, by Royal Appointment.

He also starred in the West End in Fame at the Victoria Palace Theatre, and subsequently had roles in Me and My Girl, Grease, Buddy and Boogie Nights. Taking the leap from musical theatre to comedy, Kev has been a regular on the touring circuit ever since and often appears at London’s most prestigious comedy venues. In 2010 he became a finalist of ITV’s hit show Britain’s Got Talent, a year after his pantomime co-stars Ashley Banjo and Diversity won.

Also joining the line-up as Mrs Blunderbore is actress Anne Smith, Anne’s West End credits include Evita, Chess, Mamma Mia!, Good RockinTonite, Robin Prince of Sherwood, Only the Lonely, and Annie. Anne has also appeared on television and film with roles in Taggart, EastEnders, Birds of a Feather, Half Light and Cinderella.

No stranger to playing the pantomime villain, Anne has previously been seen in pantos across the country, most recently appearing as Queen Rat in Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham.

“We are delighted to not only be welcoming back Ashley Banjo and Diversity but also the hilarious Kev Orkian.,” says Michael Ockwell, Mayflower Theatre Chief Executive .

“In 2023, Kev had audiences laughing out loud, and we cannot wait to welcome him back to our stage this year. We are also excited to welcome Anne Smith who is a wonderful performer and will be an amazing Mrs Blunderbore.”

For three weeks only, Jack and the Beanstalk will bring all the laughter, spectacle, special effects and glittering festive magic audiences have come to expect each year from the Mayflower Theatre’s spectacular Christmas panto.

Tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk (Saturday 14 December 2024 – Sunday 5 January 2025) are on sale at mayflower.org.uk or 02380 711811.

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