It’s time to book your panto tickets

Outside%20the%20opera%20house%202Who could be a better candidate to fill the boots of Jack and the Beanstalk’s Silly Simon than a self-confessed big kid?

Well I guess the answer to that is if that big kid happens to be every child’s favourite pirate – the hopeless, but loveable Cook from CBeebies gameshow Swashbuckle.

Joseph Elliott will be bringing his own brand of crazy humour and slapstick to the stage at Buxton Opera House this Christmas and he admits he is already getting excited.

“What a way to spend Christmas playing around being silly, making kids laugh. There’s nothing better than that for me and I just can’t wait to get there,” he declared.

“They tell me that it always snows in Buxton in December and as I live in London I really am looking forward to spending some time in such a beautiful place.”

The 30-year-old star who trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, is playing the panto fool alongside stalwart comedian Steve Nallon who is best known for being the voice of Margaret Thatcher in Spitting Image and will no doubt put that background to good use as Dame Trott.

“We met up in Buxton to promote the show and we instantly had a really good chemistry. He is going to be great fun to work with and he has lots of brilliant ideas on how to make the most of the show. He is going to be able to teach me a lot,” added the young star.

Joseph may only have two pantos under his belt but he has recently gained a wealth of experience thanks to the amazing success of Swashbuckle, which is now in its second series.

“Since the first series it really has gone crazy. Everyone loves pirates and children of all ages are enjoying the show.

“For me it is absolutely perfect. I am just a big kid myself and I am getting to spend my days dressed as a pirate playing on a ship. I get more excited than the children most of the time.”

Joseph plays one half of the comedy duo Cook and Line with his comedy partner Richard David Caine. They have been performing together for over four years as part of the acclaimed group Four Screws Loose. They have had sell-out runs at Leicester Square and Soho Theatres and had four hit shows in Edinburgh.

“Obviously I have two totally different audiences and I am used to keeping them apart but the good thing about a panto is there will be plenty of opportunities to make sure there is the odd joke which will entertain just the grown-ups,” he said with a laugh.

Jack and the Beanstalk is at Buxton Opera House from December 11-January 3. To book tickets go to

Derby Theatre will be showing A Christmas Carol from December 5 to January 4 with Jim Barclay in the starring role of Scrooge. There will be an interview with him in the next edition of artsbeat.

At Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre you will be able to see Camilla Dallerup from Strictly Come Dancing and Asa Elliott, the cabaret singer in TV’s Benidorm in Cinderella. Read about a visit the stars made to Chesterfield in an earlier post on just tap a key word into the search link.