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Preview: Sleeping Beauty at Sunderland Empire

Casting announced for
timeless pantomime classic

Martin Dodd for UKProductions
Sleeping Beauty
Sunderland Empire
Friday 9th - Saturday 31st December 2016

Faye Tozer as the Good Fairy
Andrew Agnew as Silly Billy and Director
Bobby Crush as Nurse Nelly

Further star casting to be announced.

Sunderland Empire and Martin Dodd for UK Productions are delighted to announce that North East based actress and ‘Steps’ star Faye Tozer, Cbeebies and Balamory favourite Andrew Agnew and legend of radio, screen and stage Bobby Crush will be appearing on Wearside in the timeless classic, Sleeping Beauty this pantomime season.

The enchanting tale of Sleeping Beauty is set to bed down at Sunderland Empire from Friday 9th - Saturday 31st December 2016 and tells the tale of Princess Briar Rose, but TRAGEDY strikes when she has a spell cast over her by a wicked fairy sending her into a deep sleep. Will this be ONE FOR SORROW or will the spell be broken by a handsome Prince?

Faye Tozer
North East based Faye Tozer returns to the Sunderland Empire stage following her critically acclaimed role as 'Lina Lamont' in Singing in the Rain in 2014 and is set to sparkle as the Good Fairy. Faye is best known for her part in Brit Award winning Pop Band 'Steps'. Over a five year period they released 17 singles and 4 studio albums selling over 20 million records in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia and the U.S. In 2011 Steps successfully reunited with hit Sky Living TV shows 'Steps - The Reunion and On the Road again' and celebrated with a 22 date sell out Arena tour and another No.1 Album.

Faye began her theatrical career with Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Tell me on a Sunday' and has a number of high profile theatrical credits including -'Bonnie' in Love Shack (UK National tour) 'Sheila Wendice' in Dial M for Murder (UK National Tour) 'Eva Cassidy' in Over the Rainbow (UK National Tour) and most recently the UK National Tour of The Naked Truth. 

Andrew Agnew
Faye is joined by Andrew Agnew who also returns to the Sunderland Empire following a triumphant pantomime season as Muddles in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs alongside Su Pollard and Matt Lapinskas in 2014.
But not quite a silly billy if his resume is anything to go by! Andrew is probably best known as the crime-busting, nature loving PC Plum in the two times BAFTA Award-winning Balamory (CBeebies). Balamory took to the stage in two UK Arena Tours, Balamory Live - What's the Story? & Balamory Live - Strike up the Band!He has also been involved in a nine month tour of CBeebies at the Theatre - Let's Play (BBC Worldwide/WISH).  He has also appeared in several episodes of Woolly and Tig (Tattiemoon) as Tam, Dame Nursey and the Shoemaker. 
Andrew has also found time to step behind the camera and become one of the Directors on three CBeebies shows Me Too! (Tattiemoon), Woolly and Tig (Tattiemoon) and My Pet and Me.
However, it's during the Christmas Season that Andrew feels most at home and he has been seen in several pantomimes throughout the UK and on TV including Cbeebies as one of the comedy Policemen in Jack & Jill and the Balamory pantomime Cinderella appearing as an Ugly sister. 

He's delighted to be back at one of his most favourite theatres, Sunderland Empire as Silly Billy but this time with the additional role of Director – blimey he’ll be leaving the snoozing to the Princess then!

Bobby Crush
Joining Andrew and Faye will be legend of radio, screen and stage, Bobby Crush. Bobby first came into the public eye after six winning appearances on Opportunity Knocks in the 70s. Since then he has had numerous stage roles and his own TV show. Most recently he took on the role of Billy Sparkle in the new series of Benidorm.

His musical stage performances include ‘Dr. Frank N. Furter’ in The Rocky Horror Show and ‘Billy Flynn’ in Chicago. West End successes include three seasons at the London Palladium co-starring alongside Jack Jones, Vic Damone and Julie Andrews. As a regular performer at the London Palladium, Bobby’s name was recently added to the ‘Roll of Honour’ at the Palladium stage door.

Ben Phillips, Sunderland Empire General Manager, said: “We look forward to hosting another spectacular family pantomime from UK Productions and are delighted that Faye and Andrew will be returning to the Sunderland Empire stage this festive season with the mesmerising and classic tale of Sleeping Beauty.”

Sleeping Beauty is set to be another spectacular pantomime that promises to add a fairy tale touch to the festive season. Packed full of hilarious jokes, show-stopping song and dance, larger-than-life characters, colourful costumes, sparkling sets and amazing special effects!

Further star casting to be announced!
Tickets available from the Box Office on High Street West, via the ticket centre 0844 871 3022* or*calls cost up to 7p per minute plus standard network charges. Booking and transaction fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.

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