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This year’s panto at the Torch Theatre is going to be a smash hit! One of the best loved of our traditional fairy stories, Sleeping Beauty has something for everyone. A dashing Prince, a beautiful Princess, a magical Fairy and a wicked baddie...

Sleeping Beauty will run from Friday 16 December through to Saturday 31 December here at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven with afternoon and evening performances, including a relaxed and a BSL performance.

Jam-packed full of all the things you’d expect from pantomime – original songs, laugh-out-loud jokes, brilliant costumes and lots of audience participation - this lovely story is perfect for families of all ages. Oh, yes it is! Whether you’re aged 2 or 102 there’s something here for you. And there’ll be some special surprises and up-to-date topical humour too!

Full of familiar faces and talented newcomers our cast is certain to entertain and delight. You may even spot some of them out and about in Milford Haven as Fanny the Nanny has lost her bloomers and will need your help to find them! You may well see members of the cast out and about in Pembrokeshire over the next few weeks.

We’ll also be welcoming over 25 school groups into the theatre for our dedicated schools performances from 29 November, where we will provide a magical experience and extra educational materials to support our local learners. There are some limited spaces available for schools and community groups, so get in touch to arrange your visit.

While pantomimes are happy, loud and shouty Sleeping Beauty will be tinged with a little sadness this year for us here at the Torch, as it’s Artistic Director, Peter Doran’s last show at the Torch as he retires on the day of the final performance.

Sleeping Beauty is the 16th pantomime Peter has directed here, and his 50th show for the Torch and it’s very close to his heart.  He told us -

“I’m delighted that my last show is Sleeping Beauty. Of all the shows James Williams and I have written, it’s one of my favourites. It’s probably got the best Pantomime villain in Maleficent and has wonderfully funny traditional kitchen scenes. I fully intend to make my last one, the best one.”

We extend a warm Torch welcome to everyone to come and enjoy this year’s pantomime. It’s been a while because of the pandemic which will make this show something really rather special. Tickets are selling fast, don't hit the snooze button for too long and book your tickets here 

Now it's time to meet the cast:

Dion Davies – Fanny the Nanny

Dion is a familiar face at the Torch Theatre, having played the role of ‘Dame’ in the Christmas show since 2010. And he’s delighted to return to the Torch Theatre this autumn working with Peter on his final season. Dion has just completed the run of ‘Of Mice and Men’ at the Torch in which he played the roles of Boss and Carlson ad is thrilled to return to play Fanny the Nanny in Sleeping Beauty.  Now, where are those bloomers?

Dion’s film and TV credits include:

Under Milk Wood (film), TorchwoodStellaTair ChwaerPethau BychainAmdaniPobol y CwmRownd a RowndJen a Jim Pob DimDitectifs Hanes a Hyd y PwrsY Doniolis.

Some of Dion’s Theatre credits include: Arandora StarKapowHalt Who Goes There?StowawayBeyond WordsAesop’s Fables (all Theatre Na nÓg), Up’n’Under (Black Rat), Servant of Two MastersA Christmas CarolA Child’s Christmas In Wales (all Wales Theatre Company), and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and One Man, Two Guv’nors (Torch Theatre).

Gwenllian Higginson – Princess Rose

Gwenllian is delighted to be making her Torch Theatre debut as our Princess in Sleeping Beauty!

Gwenllian’s recent theatre credits include Gwlad Yr Asyn (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru) WEST (Bale and Thomas, Hollywood Fringe & Wales Tour) A Christmas Carol (Sherman Theatre), Shooting Rabbits (Powder House/Sherman Theatre), Merched Caerdydd, Macbeth (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru), the lead role of Julie in Miss Julie (RCT Theatres), Exodus (Motherlode Theatre, Wales Tour & Finborough Theatre), The Good Earth (Motherlode, Wales Tour & a run at the Flea Theatre, New York), Constellation Street (The Other Room). TV Credits include 35 Diwrnod, Enid A Lucy, Pobol Y Cwm (S4C) and Casualty (BBC).

Miriam O’Brien – Maleficent

Miriam is a highly skilled mezzo-soprano who trained at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Thrilled to be back again for another year of panto, Miriam told us “It’s always such a joy to be here around the wonderful familiar faces of the Torch and what a fantastic way to mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another!”

Her theatre credits include: The Woman In Black, Sleeping Beauty, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Dick Whittington, One Man, Two Guvnors And Cinderella (Torch Theatre), Milky Peaks (Theatr Clwyd & How To Win Against History), Box Clever (Liverpool Everyman), Curtain Up! (Theatr Clwyd), Humans At Work (Warwick Arts Centre), Shout! The Mod Musical (Royal Court Theatre/Boheme Productions), Hansel & Gretel (Hightime Opera) And Much Ado About Nothing (Sam Wanamaker Festival/Shakespeare’s Globe).

Clêr Stephens – The Fairy

Clêr currently lives in Cardiff and is originally from Bargoed in the Rhymni valley.

“I’m thrilled to be invited back to do panto, “oh yes I am!”- I feel lucky as I’ve always had such a great time being here, it’s like a big cwtsh of theatre love and ffabiwlas people.”

Clêr recently played Mami & Gillian Anderson Flea of Knowledge in ‘Petula’ a National Theatre Wales Community production with TGC & Aug 012;  Caryl in ‘Our Werth’ at the Sherman Theatre and short films titled ‘Door man’ for Tower Road Pictures and ‘Last Call’ for Feral Productions.

Clêr has also performed for and with Re-live Theatre, Mercury Theatre Wales, Avant Cymru, Hijinx, Lalala Productions, Likeanegg Productions, P78, and The Torch Theatre.

Jâms Thomas  - Bing the King

After his recent portrayal of George in Of Mice and Men at the Torch, Jâms is overjoyed to be returning to play Bing the King in this year’s Pantomime,  Sleeping Beauty. He told us he “can’t wait to have a laugh playing Bing after the tears of playing George”

Jâms’ 36-year career includes film appearances in Pride, Nr Nice, August, Score, Colonial Gods, The Big I Am, and, more recently Save The Cinema. His Television credits include Torchwood, Casualty, Life and Death in the Warehouse, The Left Behind, London’s Burning, Keeping Faith, Hinterland, Stella, The Reckoning, 35 awr, Gwaith/ Cartref, Y Pris.

Amongst many stage productions Jâms is most proud of performing in; Of Mice and Men (Torch Theatre), Aladdin (Torch Theatre) and elsewhere in The Creature, The Effect, Touch Blue Touch Yellow, Canterbury Tales, Neville’s Island, The Government Inspector, A world tour of House of America and a UK and European tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Jâms can currently be seen playing Clock in The Tuckers on the BBC and Mick in the forthcoming series of Amgeueddfa on S4C. 

Jâms drinks tea and lives quietly in Cardiff.

Samuel Freeman – Fester the Jester

Samuel is delighted to be returning to the Torch again this Christmas. He told us “I’m ready to hang up my princely coat to don Fester the Jester’s comic garb! I’m honoured to be performing in the theatre that captivated and inspired me from a young age.”

Born and bred in Milford Haven, Samuel is an Actor Musician. After attending The Torch Youth Theatre, he trained at Bath Spa School of Music and Performing Arts.

Some of Samuel’s theatre credits include Of Mice and Men (Torch Theatre), Cinderella (Torch Theatre), The Wind in the Willows & The Wave (Calf2Cow), Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth & The Tempest (Three Inch Fools), The Wizard of Oz (Prime), Wherever I Lay My Head (NYT), Aladdin (Selladoor), Macbeth (YSC),

Film/Media; The Young Cannibals (Bad Taste), The Establishment - Division 9 (Day Dreams), Breaking the Band (ITV), Assisted (Alema), The White Dwarf (WD Productions, Lottery Ticket (Bisroca), Alluri - Alpha Mama (Subtitles Film), A Silent Film - Something To Believe In (R&A).

Samuel is an associate artist of Calf 2 Cow, working as musical director and composer on The Wave, The Wind in the Willows and the upcoming adaption of The Jabberwocky.

Jacob Aldcroft – The Prince and Tupper the Washer Upper

Jacob was born and raised in Northampton and has been living in Bristol for 3 years. He has visited his grandparents in Carmarthen every year for the last 20 years.

Jacob told us “I’m looking forward to making a floury mess onstage cooking with the Dame, fighting evil, and generally just having a blast!”

Since graduating in 2019  Jacob has been working regularly on a range of street theatre and indoor shows. As well as working with the Natural Theatre Company and Emerald Ant, he’s made his own ACE funded doorstep show, and performed in fringe venues with his own work through his company Dumb Found Theatre.


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