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Oh no it isn’t! (Yes it is!)

Written by on 4th November 2016

Pack up your knapsacks, lace up your boots and head along to the theatre this festive season for yet another traditional family pantomime packed with lots of laughs, magic, and an all-star cast.

The Council is bringing Dick Whittington to both the newly-refurbished Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare and Park & Dare Theatre in Treorchy throughout December.

With Maxwell James in the lead role, follow Dick Whittington and his trusty cat as they head to the streets of London to seek their fame and fortune – but are the streets of London really paved with gold?

Maxwell said:

“I am delighted to be back in Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s two  theatres for this year’s pantomime. It is going to be a magical High Sea’s adventure. I hope to see everyone there for a good time.”

With the festive season fast approaching, tickets are already selling fast for the entire run of the production, which opens at the Coliseum Theatre on December

The show also stars Welsh star Di Botcher, best known for her role as Aunty Brenda in Sky 1’s Stella.

Di, who has also starred in TV’s Coronation Street, Little Britain, Downtown Abbey, High Hopes, and many more programmes, said:

“I am very excited because this is going to be my first RCT panto – I am so looking forward to it.”

Cllr Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Culture, said:

“The festive period is always a special time, and with it comes the ever-popular panto season. I am delighted this year that Di Botcher has joined our cast.

“As such a familiar face on our television screens, I am delighted to welcome her back to our theatres, having previously appeared in many comedy productions in the past.

“I am also delighted to welcome back our theatre favourites Maxwell James, Lee Gilbert and of course Frank Vickery.

“The Council has recently carried out refurbishment work at both of its theatres as part of its three-year £200m, RCTinvest programme. Both the Park & Dare Theatre and Coliseum Theatre offer varied live entertainment, cinema screenings and much more.

“The venues are an important part of the fabric of our communities and we are all about to embark on a magical adventure with Dick Whittington and friends.”

Written and directed by Richard Tunley, Dick Whittington follows hot on the heels of the Council’s smash-hit panto Cinderella last season.

No panto would be complete without the traditional Panto Dame, and this festive production also stars Rhondda Cynon Taf’s very-own Frank Vickery as Sarah the Cook.

Frank, who is no stranger to the Council’s two theatres, says he is so looking forward to the December run of Dick Whittington, a swashbuckling adventure packed with comedy, magical special effects and spectacular scenery.

Likewise, every panto has a ‘baddie’ and this year it is King Rat, played by RCT’s very-own Lee Gilbert. He’s a regular on BBC Radio Wales as a singer and Big Band performer, Lee has also starred in many Frank Vickery plays including A Night on the Tiles, Roots and Wings, Family Planning, Trivial Pursuits and Tonto Evans.

As part of its RCTinvest programme, improvement works at the Coliseum Theatre include carpet replacements and the redecoration of corridors, staircases and the Green Room, along with improved lighting, both internally and in the patron’s car park.

Works at the Park & Dare Theatre include a new lift to upper floors, a new and improved foyer area, replacement carpets, redecorated walls and ceilings and new signage throughout the venue.

Built in 1937, the Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare, has been the home of live entertainment, both professional and amateur, for almost 80 years. The iconic Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy, was constructed in 1913 and funded by local miners.

During its run at both theatres, there will be ‘Relaxed Performances’ of Dick Whittington for people with learning difficulties and their families and carers. Please ask for details.

Tickets are now on sale for Dick Whittington. Adults £15; Concessions £12; Family Ticket £48; School Groups £7.

Coliseum Theatre, December 1-14; Park & Dare Theatre, December 18-24.

Performance times vary.

Call the Box Office on 08000 147 111 or visit