Worthing launches its two Christmas pantos

W375022H12 Some of the cast of The Wizard of Oz
W375022H12 Some of the cast of The Wizard of Oz

REALITY TV star – and panto star in the making – Mario Falcone got his first look at Worthing last week as the town’s two pantomime casts assembled to launch this year’s festive fun.

Mario Falcone was unveiled as Abrac, the witch’s henchman in The Wizard of Oz at the Pavilion Theatre.

Panto is most definitely new territory for the man known, alongside his fiancée and fellow TOWIE performer Lucy Mecklenburgh, as “the prince and princess of reality TV”.

“My sister was in Wizard of Oz when she was younger, and she just said ‘Go for it!’ It was just through my management that I was offered to come here. I have been to Brighton before, and I just thought ‘What better place than Worthing!’”

Mario joined the cast of The Only Way is Essex in season three. He has been a regular in the show since September, 2011.

Joining him in panto – and looking beautiful in a blue flowery frock with big flowers on – will be the piano-playing Dame, Bobby Crush. “I have got huge earrings and an even bigger wig and I have got a bumblebee hat,” Bobby said. “I have got a big bumble bee coming out the top of my head!

“This is my 11th dame,” he says. “I did my first dame in the year 2000. But this is my 30th or 31st panto. My first time was back in 73, back in the days where I was cast as one of the principal boys. I was still in my teenage years. I turned professional at the age of 18 after my first break on Opportunity Knocks.

The Wizard of Oz will be at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, from December 13-January 6. Tickets on 01903 206206 or www.worthingtheatres.co.uk

Running alongside it will be Sleeping Beauty at the Connaught Theatre from December 7-January 5.

Sleeping Beauty stars Jon Moses from ITV’s Superstar as Prince Valiant, Britain’s top piano-playing dame Bobby Crush as Nurse Katy Cough-Drop, impressionist Tony Rudd as Muddles and introduces Sophie Bloom as Princess Aurora. Also featuring in the production are students from Glendale Theatre Arts School.

For more pictures, see the Worthing Herald, out now.