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Preview: Jack and the Beanstalk at Sunderland Empire

Jack and the Beanstalk
Sunderland Empire
Friday 15th December 2017Sunday 7th January 2018

We are delighted to announce that North East actor Bill Ward will take on the villainous role of Fleshcreep in the magical pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk which is set to stomp into Sunderland Empire from Friday 15 December 2017Sunday 7 January 2018.

Bill Ward, best known for his work on two of the UK’s leading Soaps, Emmerdale and Coronation Street is due to star as Detective Superintendent Roy Grace in the national tour of Peter James’ Not Dead Enough from 17 April 2017.

Bill Ward
Bill said: "I'm delighted to be playing FleshCreep in this Christmas's production of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Sunderland Empire.  As a (slightly posh) Geordie born and bred in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I'm thoroughly looking forward to spending Xmas back home in my native North East, and am particularly looking forward to both working at the Sunderland Empire, and being evil on a full time professional basis for the entire Festive Period.”

Jack and the Beanstalk promises a host of crazy characters in this madcap adventure families won’t want to miss! With stunning costumes and sets, hilarious song and dance routines, plus more jokes than a bag full of magic beans, let’s hope our hero Jack lives happily ever after with the beautiful princess  or will a beastly giant stop him in his tracks?

In 2016, Bill finished 3 years and over 300 episodes on Emmerdale, playing the well meaning but pretty hopeless farmer James Barton (Ross, Pete and Finn's Dad) who sadly met a rather gruesome, if accidental, death at the hands of his emotionally volatile partner, Emma, in one of the Soap's biggest storylines of the year.

Previously, he played the rather nasty builder Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street, also for 3 years and 300 episodes, who also remarkably met a rather gruesome, if accidental, death at the hands of his emotionally volatile partner, Tracy, in one of the Soap's biggest storylines of the year.  He's a bit worried about doing any more of these kind of jobs...

He's also done a fair amount of other TV/Film including: Silent Witness, True Crime, Casualty, The Great Ghost Rescue, Tangled (CBCCanada), Doctors, The Bill, Robin Hood, Midsomer Murders, Heartbeat, Cold Blood, Fallen, Holby City, EastEnders, Swag, Seven Stories, Jonathan Creek, Footballers’ Wives, Rose and Maloney, In Deep, Make My Day.

Though well known for his TV work, Bill is no stranger to the stage, and has worked on everything from Sophocles to The Spice Girls at Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Northern Stage, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, and The National Theatre Studio amongst others.  He's played Prospero in The Tempest in Guildford, Lancelot in Spamalot in the West End, and Kevin the Gnome in a muddy field in Glastonbury. 

From the producers behind last years pantomime of dreams, Sleeping Beauty comes a gigantic tale that’s guaranteed to scale great heights in 2017/18. Jack and the Beanstalk is set to be another spectacular pantomime that promises to add a fairy tale touch to your festive season in 2017/18!

Further star cast to be announced!

Relaxed performance: Wednesday 27 December 2017 (5pm)

Signed performance: Wednesday 3 January 2018 (7pm)


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

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