THE tale of Jack and the Beanstalk will be brought to life by the star-studded cast that includes Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas.

The cast is delighted to bring the tale alive in pantomime form on the stage of the refurbished Darlington Hippodrome.

Actor and comedy writer Daniel Taylor, who plays the antagonist Fleshcreep, said: “It’s getting more exciting as you have something to bounce off. It's great to be back in Darlington with great audiences. Having Shirley adds a whole dance element that brings panto back to its traditional routes.”

Jack is played by 2008 Britain’s Got Talent winner George Simpson, who said: “It’s nice to be in a Northern town where people have time for you. It’s a nice theatre and the Christmas tradition of panto is very much alive here. I would be bored without it.”

Lauren Hall, from Washington, who plays Princess Apricot, said: “It is amazing to be performing close to home, my friends and family who have supported me get to come and watch. The princess is very feisty, and I think it’s important to show the strength in girls.”

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at Darlington Hippodrome from Friday, December 6 to Sunday, January 5, 2020.

To be in with a chance to be the 100,000th pantomime visitor at the newly-restored theatre, visit or call 01325-405405.