St Albans panto Sleeping Beauty up for two Great British Pantomime Awards

PUBLISHED: 14:50 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:04 18 February 2020

Princess Aurora (Jemma Carlisle) with the Noiseometer  in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Princess Aurora (Jemma Carlisle) with the Noiseometer in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Pamela Raith

Cast members of St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty are up for two industry awards.

Rita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithRita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Alban Arena panto stars Jemma Carlisle and Rita Simons have both been nominated in the 2020 Great British Pantomime Awards.

Sleeping Beauty will go head-to-head with Stevenage's Beauty and the Beast in the Best Leading Female category.

Jemma Carlisle's performance as Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty will be up against Grace Lancaster, who was Beauty in the Gordon Craig Theatre production.

This is Jemma's second successive nomination in the national awards after being shortlisted last year for Best Principal Girl for her performance in Evolution Pantomimes' production of Cinderella.

Jemma tweeted: "Well this is the loveliest surprise! Thank you SO much."

Beth Lyons from Hoddesdon's Spotlight Theatre panto Aladdin is also nominated this year.

Holly Tandy from the Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford, panto Sleeping Beauty, and Kate Hume from Camberley Theatre panto Robin Hood complete the 2020 list of nominations.

Former EastEnders favourite Rita Simons' star turn as evil fairy Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty in St Albans has won her another nomination in the Best Villain (Female) section.

Princess Aurora (Jemma Carlisle) pricks her finger on a spinning wheel in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithPrincess Aurora (Jemma Carlisle) pricks her finger on a spinning wheel in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Best known as Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders, Rita is set to star in the West End revival of musical Hairspray alongside Michael Ball and Paul Merton.

She appeared in St Albans panto Sleeping Beauty alongside Bob Golding and Ian Kirkby last year having just finished her run as Miss Hedge in Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End.

In the latest panto awards, Rita will be battling against Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph, who appeared as the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

The other nominees are Melanie Stevens as the stepmother from Cinderella at the Courtyard, Hereford, Myra Dubois, who starred as Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds, and Karen Hawthorne, the Wicked Queen from the Millennium Forum production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This year's 2020 Alban Arena panto will be Mother Goose with tickets already on sale.

Mother Goose will run from Friday, December 4 to Sunday, January 3, 2021.

For tickets, visit the Arena website at www.alban-arena.co.uk or call the box office on 01727 844488.

Rita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithRita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Rita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithRita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Rita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithRita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Rita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithRita Simons as Carabosse in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Prince Charming (Phillip Ryan) and Princess Aurora (Jemma Carlisle) in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithPrince Charming (Phillip Ryan) and Princess Aurora (Jemma Carlisle) in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith


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