The Liverpool Empire has announced that Benidorm stars Tony Maudsley and Asa Elliott have climbed aboard the Jolly Roger and have set a course for this year’s swashbuckling family pantomime, Peter Pan, joining the previously announced John Evans in an all-new spectacular production from Saturday 7 December.
Tony Maudsley will be taking a break from the Benidorm hairdressing salon where he is best-known for playing the lovable Kenneth Du Beke in the long-running, award-winning ITV comedy. Tony was a series regular in the award-winning comedy series from 2011 and in that time won legions of fans thanks to his hilarious comedy, array of outlandish outfits and screen presence. Most recently Tony reprised his role as Kenneth in Benidorm Live, which sold out 28 theatres across the UK, including a sold out run at the Liverpool Empire.
The Kirkby-born actor has previously been nominated for Best Actor and Best Newcomer by the Royal Television Society, appeared recently in Stephen Poliakoff's Summer of Rockets for the BBC and ITV's The Job Lot and starred as the inimitable musical theatre matriarch Edna Turnblad in a critically acclaimed UK tour of the musical Hairspray. He also appeared in films alongside Johnny Depp in Sleepy Hollow, Vanity Fair alongside Reece Witherspoon, with David Suchet in Agatha Christie’s Poirot and in Bright Young Things, directed by Stephen Fry appearing alongside a roster of star names including Richard E Grant, Imelda Staunton, John Mills, Peter O’Toole and Michael Sheen. Swapping his curling iron for a mop to keep the Jolly Roger ship shape, Tony will play Kenneth the Cabin Boy.
Joining him as the leader of the Neverlanders, Tiger Billy, will be Tony’s Benidorm co-star Asa Elliott. Best known for playing the lead-vocalist of the fictional Neptune’s Club on the hit television show, Asa regularly show-cased his impressive vocals, appearing for, and alongside, the wide range of famous faces who appeared in the hit ITV show. Having also appeared in cabaret, musicals and television productions throughout his career, including an appearance on Stars in Their Eyes, Asa also starred with Tony in the UK tour of Benidorm Live.
Tony and Asa will join previously announced John Evans who will play Smee. In this, his third consecutive Empire panto appearance, John will bring his much-loved quick wit and hilarious comedy routines which Empire audiences have come to expect. John’s clever comedy has taken him across the world, entertaining the British Forces on a number of occasions, as well as becoming a firm favourite with the world’s major cruise lines.
Speaking on his casting, Tony Maudsley said: “It’s a huge honour to have been asked to join the cast of the Liverpool Empire panto. Growing up in Liverpool I know full well just how important panto is for the city, so to be back in the beautiful Empire and back on my home turf at Christmas is going to be really magical.”
Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime company, Peter Pan marks the Empire’s third collaboration with the world’s biggest pantomime producers, having previously staged productions of Cinderella which starred Duncan James and Jodie Prenger, and last year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk which starred Strictly head judge Shirley Ballas.
Packed to the crows-nest with laugh-out-loud comedy, spectacular special effects, music, action and, audiences shouldn’t leave it any longer to hook tickets to Liverpool’s high-flying pantomime adventure, Peter Pan, or they’ll be forced to walk the plank.
Further casting is still to be announced.