Ann Widdecombe set to quickstep into panto at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 07:55 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 07:55 27 April 2017

File Photo of Ann Widdecombe.  Picture Yui Mok/PA

File Photo of Ann Widdecombe. Picture Yui Mok/PA

A high-profile former politician will bring plenty of pomp to a leading role in a spectacular family pantomime.

Ann Widdecombe, who will star in panto at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: Poppy Berry Ann Widdecombe, who will star in panto at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: Poppy Berry

Ann Widdecombe will star as the regal and authoritative Empress of China in the panto Aladdin, which will be performed at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

Outspoken and controversial, Ms Widdecombe was MP for Maidstone between 1987 and 1997 and for Maidstone and the Weald between 1997 and 2010.

She is perhaps more recently known for her explosive appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, where despite never being a favourite with the judges, Ann continually defied the odds with her dance partner Anton Du Beke and survived 10 weeks in the competition.

Having also appeared in Celebrity Fit Club, Ann would also become a judge in the series, and in 2005, she fronted her own series, Ann Widdecombe to the Rescue.

This year Ms Widdecombe lived on a farm in ITV’s Sugar Free Farm and experienced life as a Victorian in 24 Hours in the Past (BBC Two).

A prolific author and columnist, Ann has a weekly column in The Daily Express and has written five novels, a detective story and her memoirs, Strictly Ann.

Ann will be accompanied on stage by pop star Mark Read, from the hit boy band A1, who will play the title character Aladdin in this spectacular family adventure.

Lee Henderson, chief executive at the Marina Theatre, said: “We’re really excited that Ann Widdecombe has agreed to join the cast of Aladdin, to play the impressive Empress of China for us in this year’s family pantomime.

“We very much look forward to welcoming her to Lowestoft for what is shaping up to be our most outstanding Christmas season ever.”

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said: “I am thrilled to have secured Ann and Mark in what is already shaping up to be the biggest Christmas production Lowestoft has ever seen.

“With Ann’s charisma and remarkable sense of humour combined with Mark’s exceptional vocals and showmanship, not to mention the warmth and fun of returning comic Terry Gleed this year’s pantomime production really does have something for everyone.”

Aladdin runs at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft from Wednesday, December 13 to Monday, January 1.

Tickets are on sale now via or at the box office on 01502 533200.

Other News

18 minutes ago

Norfolk and Waveney is perhaps one of the best areas in country for seeing the natural world up close.


Snow could be on its way to Norfolk on Sunday as the temperatures plummet to below freezing overnight.

Yesterday, 19:35

On behalf of most of the general public I am totally fed up with endless roadworks and road closures. I appreciate (some) have to be done but can’t they stagger them out a bit?

Yesterday, 19:19

A main road has been closed as a result of a serious collision.

Most Read

Fri, 08:28

Great Yarmouth is set for a tourism spending boost after it was confirmed cruise ships will be docking with hundreds of passengers at the town’s port throughout the year.

Read more
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Tue, 20:26

A care home in Great Yarmouth has been forced to close after watchdogs uncovered a catalogue of concerns.

Read more
Care Quality Commission
Fri, 11:17

He is a cat who became an internet star by making Great Yarmouth’s Tesco store his second home.

Read more
Mon, 15:48

A teacher is feeling a new woman and enjoying time with her children after she lost more than four stone in 26 weeks.

Read more
Tue, 10:50

A woman has been arrested on the suspicion of drug-driving and possession of a class A drug after the car she was believed to be driving crashed into a home in Gorleston.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 0°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter