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Welcome to Jeff’s pantomime page, (oh yes it is)! A great British tradition, Jeff’s panto performances go back to his early career. His earliest archived role came as the Genie of the Ring in Aladdin at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. He followed this with numerous portrayals of comedy characterisations such as Idle Jack in Dick Whittington, Billy Goose in Mother Goose, Simple Simon in Jack and the Beanstalk, Muddles in Babes in the Wood and Mr Policeman and Carpenter in Pinocchio opposite Clive Dunn.  

In 1980, by contrast, Jeff was cast as the evil King Rat in Dick Whittington to Ken Dodd’s Idle Jack but his strong comedy links saw him return in the main, to the comic roles for several years. In 1979 Jeff was booked to play Jack Boot in a now rarely seen panto production of Robinson Crusoe. He also was cover for star of the show Frankie Howerd as Billy Crusoe. The show was to prove a major turning point in Jeff’s career when he was called upon to take over from Howerd following a freak accident. The cast included Carry On legend Bernard Bresslaw, Tommy Trinder, Anita Harris and one of pantomime’s most renowned Dames, Jack Tripp as Mrs Crusoe.

Over the next few years, Jeff’s panto roles reflected his success in the golden age of comedy, often appearing with his colleagues from such shows as Hi de Hi but his earlier experiences of working with the likes of Jack Tripp and Terry Scott in the role of Dame plus the influences of Arthur Askey and Cyril Fletcher, had left him in no doubt that as soon as he was ‘old enough’, his panto future lay in that direction. The transition came in 1989.

Already contracted by E&B Triumph to appear as Muddles in Sleeping Beauty alongside Hinge and Bracket at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, Jeff found himself at a party discussing the show with producer Paul Elliott. Elliott confessed he was finding it difficult to cast a Dame as the actors he had approached felt that the production already had two in the guises of Dame Hilda and Dr Evadne. This idea seemed somewhat ridiculous to Jeff as ‘The Dear Ladies’ as they were affectionately known were, to all intents and purposes just that, whereas a panto Dame was always ‘a bloke in a frock’. It was then he heard himself utter those three fateful words “I’ll do it”. The following week a letter arrived with a formal offer to play the role of Nurse and the die was cast. He has played Dame in every panto he has appeared in since and is now considered one of the top five Dames in the country.

In 1999 Judy joined Jeff in pantomime for the first time as the Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk at Wolverhampton Grand. In recent years they have played Fairy and Dame together on a regular basis. Both admit that although it is not a criterion for them, panto companies have come to view them as something of a team these days. Something they are delighted about as it means they can spend all of Christmas together. In addition to his acting portrayals, Jeff also recently took on the role of director when he directed Aladdin at the Queens Theatre, Barnstable in 2005/06 and Dick Whittington at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro the following year.

So does he have any ambitions still to accomplish when it comes to this unique British theatrical genre? Oh yes he does! Last year (2008/09) saw Jeff’s 38th performance in a pantomime and his 20th as Dame. He would love to continue in the same vein for the foreseeable future or at least until he has fulfilled his wishes to play the Nurse in Babes in the Wood and the title role in Mother Goose, his two all time favourite Dames.

CV - Pantomime

TITLE

CHARACTER

DIRECTOR

VENUE

DATE

Dick Whittington

Felicity Fitzwarren

Jonathan Kiley

Hippodrome - Birmingham

2010

Jack and the Beanstalk

Dame Trot

Mark Piper

Palace Theatre - Newark

2008

Jack and the Beanstalk

Dame Trot

Keith Simmons

Assembly Rooms - Derby

2007

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Jeffrey Holland

Hall For Cornwall

2006

Aladdin

Widow Twankey

Jeffrey Holland

Queens Theatre - Barnstable

2005

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Peter Purves

Opera House - Manchester

2004

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Mitch Sebastian

Theatre Royal - Plymouth

2003

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Tudor Davies

Milton Keynes Theatre

2002

Jack and the Beanstalk

Dame Trott

Martin Connor

Theatre Royal - Newcastle

2001

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Keith Simmons

Theatre Royal - Newcastle

2000

Jack and the Beanstalk

Dame Trott

Lisa Kent

Wolverhampton Grand

1999

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Keith Simmons

Theatre Royal - Nottingham

1998

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Keith Simmons

Wimbledon Theatre

1997

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Keith Simmons

Theatre Royal - Plymouth

1996

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Keith Simmons

New Victoria - Woking

1995

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Keith Simmons

Mayflower - Southampton

1994

Dick Whittington

Sarah The Cook

Carole Todd

Hippodrome - Birmingham

1993

Aladdin

Widow Twankey

Lyceum - Sheffield

1992

Aladdin

Widow Twankey

Hugh Wooldridge

New Theatre - Cardiff

1991

Aladdin

Widow Twankey

Peter Purves

Theatre Royal - Bath

1990

Sleeping Beauty

Nurse

Roger Redfarn

Theatre Royal - Plymouth

1989

Aladdin

Wishee Washee

Michael T Walker

Ashcroft - Croydon

1988

Aladdin

Wishee Washee

Roger Hannah

Richmond Theatre - London

1987

Aladdin

Wishee Washee

Derek Griffiths

Pavilion - Bournemouth

1986

Babes In The Wood

Good Robber

Paul Elliott

Concert Hall - Lewisham

1984

Dick Whittington

Captain’s Mate

Dick Hurran

Bristol - Hippodrome

1982

Babes In The Wood

Spike The Stupid

Roger Redfarn

Alexander Theatre - Birmingham

1981

Dick Whittington

King Rat

Roger Redfarn

Alexander Theatre - Birmingham

1980

Robinson Crusoe

Billy Crusoe / Jack

Roger Redfarn

Alexander Theatre - Birmingham

1979

Aladdin

Genie of the Lamp

Roger Redfarn

Alexander Theatre - Birmingham

1977

Mother Goose

Mr. Beerbarrel King

Roger Redfarn

Richmond - London

1974

Babes In The Wood

Muddles

Michael Ashton

Belgrade Theatre - Coventry

1973

Mother Goose

Billy Goose

Roger Redfarn

Belgrade Theatre - Coventry

1972

Jack & The Beanstalk

Simple Simon

Roger Redfarn

Belgrade Theatre - Coventry

1971

Dick Whittington

Idle Jack

Roger Redfarn

Belgrade Theatre - Coventry

1970

Aladdin

Widow Twankey

Nick Winston

The Royal & Derngate - Northampton

2011

Jack and the Beanstalk

Dame Trot

Mark Piper

Palace Theatre - Redditch

2009

For more details visit the Panto Galleries

Pinocchio

Various

Warren Jenkins

Belgrade Theatre - Coventry

1969

Aladdin

Genie Of The Ring

Warren Jenkins

Rep Production

1968

Pinocchio

Policeman/Carpenter

Roger Redfarn

Theatre Royal - Brighton

1976

Jack and the Beanstalk

Dame Trot

Jonathan Kiley

Mayflower Theatre - Southampton

2012

Robin Hood

Nurse Tilly Tuck

Tudor Davies

Theatre Royal - Plymouth

2013

CV

FAQ

TV

Jack and the Beanstalk

Dame Trott

Ken Alexander

Theatre Royal - Plymouth

2014

Robin Hood

Nurse Nancy

Nick Winston

Mayflower Theatre - Southampton

2016