The Nativity Panto Cast Announcement

November 1, 2019




The King’s Head Theatre and Charles Court Opera are delighted to announce the full cast for The Nativity Panto – A Not-So Silent Night, starring Emily Cairns, Meriel Cunningham, Jennie Jacobs, Matthew Kellett and Catrine Kirkman. The panto runs from 29 November 2019 to 11 January 2020, with a press night on Tuesday 3 December 2019. 


Emily Cairns previously made her Charles Court Opera debut in Buttons: A Cinderella Story (King’s Head Theatre). Her other theatre credits include The 56 (Bradford Alhambra and UK Tour with Lung Theatre), E15 (Edinburgh Fringe Festival / Battersea Arts Centre), News Revue (Canal Cafe Theatre), Triple Entendre: Love, Life and Other Stuff (Bradford Playhouse / Canal Cafe / Edinburgh Fringe Festival).


Meriel Cunningham graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since graduating, her opera credits include Dorilla in Tempe (Wexford Festival Opera), The Return of Ulysses (The Roundhouse for Royal Opera), The Tales of Hoffmann (Grimeborn Opera Festival), H.M.S Pinafore and Ruddigore (Charles Court Opera). Her theatre credits include An Evening on Broadway (Milton Court Theatre), Guys and Dolls, Crazy For You (Silk Street Theatre for Guildhall). Meriel’s recent concert highlights include a recital of Kurt Weill Cabaret Songs at Barbican Hall and performing a selection of jazz standards with Derek Paravicini at St John Smith Square for their My Music concert series. 

Jennie Jacobs earlier this year starred as Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore (King’s Head Theatre / National Tour). Her other performing credits include Buttons: A Cinderella Story (King’s Head Theatre) and Guilty of Love (National Tour). Jennie has also been a part of the vocal groups The Rudy Vees, Graffiti Voices, ANCORA and Opera Girls. As well as performing she is a recording artist, cabaret performer, writer and comic. 


Matthew Kellett is returning for his seventh pantomime with Charles Court Opera. His previous appearances have included d’Artagnon in The Three Musketeers, Billy in Billy the Kidd, El Tabasco in Pinocchio, Lord Conniving in King Tut, Buttons in Buttons: A Cinderella Story, and all seven of Snow White’s dwarfs in Mirror Mirror. He has also made many appearances with CCO outside of panto, including most recently H.M.S. Pinafore. His other recent theatre credits include The Elixir of Love (King’s Head Theatre), The Yeomen of the Guard, The Gondoliers, The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance (UK Tour with National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company).


Catrine Kirkman most recently performed her new one-woman show, Unbreakable Bond, based on the star of original Savoy Operas, Jessica Bond. Her recent opera credits include H.M.S. Pinafore (King’s Head Theatre), Hansel and Gretel, Un ballo in maschera (Midsummer Opera), Cavalli's Jason, Coronation of Poppea (English Touring Opera) The Magic Flute (Ilford Arts Festival).


This year, Charles Court Opera has taken the story that sparked the Season and sprinkled it with a generous helping of magic, whimsy and Christmas cheer to create their most joyous show yet. A cast of well-known characters will take the audience through a respectful, yet irreverent adaptation of the Nativity story, with musical numbers, laugh-out-loud puns and – as always – the entirely                unexpected. From adult-only evening performances through to family matinees, The Nativity Panto is perfect for parents and children, couples, groups of friends and office parties.


Charles Court Opera’s previous pantomimes with the King’s Head Theatre include Buttons: A Cinderella Story, King Tut: A Pyramid Panto, Pinocchio and Mirror Mirror: A Snow White Pantomime. 


The Nativity Panto will be written and directed by John Savournin with original music and lyrics by David Eaton, choreography by Damian Czarnecki, and set design by Rachel Szmukler, with lighting design by Ben Pickersgill, and costume design by Mia Wallden and Catrin Short Thyrsson.


This production is co-produced by The King’s Head Theatre and Charles Court Opera.





The Nativity Panto – A Not-So Silent Night


29 November 2019 – 11 January 2020


King’s Head Theatre

115 Upper Street

London N1 1QN


‘All Welcome’ Performances: Tuesday & Wednesday at 7.00pm (excluding 5 December 2019 & 1 January 2020)

Adult Only Performances (Suitable for 16+): Thursday – Saturday at 7.00pm (including 5 December 2019 & 1 January 2020)

Family Matinees Performances: Saturday & Sunday at 3.00pm


Ticket Prices: £20.00 - £30.00 (Previews 29 November – 1 December: £16)

Concessions: £22.50

10 and Under: £10.00


Box Office: 0207 226 8561

Website: / 

Twitter: @KingsHeadThtr / @charlescourt / #NativityPanto





About King’s Head Theatre

The King’s Head Theatre was established in 1970. Passionate about championing ethically produced fringe theatre, we are known for our challenging work and support of young artists. Last year 88,029 audience members saw a show of ours: 37,586 at our 110-seater home on Upper Street and 50,443 elsewhere. At our home in Islington we had 686 performances last year of 113 different shows. We are committed to fighting prejudice through the work we stage, the artists and staff we work with and by producing work for minority audience groups. We believe in fair pay for all on the fringe and create accessible routes for early career artists to stage their work; work we are passionate about. In 2017, we announced the theatre is on the move. Subject to a fundraising campaign, the King’s Head Theatre will move into a custom-built space in the heart of Islington Square, directly behind its current home securing the future of the venue for generations to come.


Charles Court Opera

Charles Court Opera has been described as one of the leading and most versatile chamber opera and music theatre companies in the UK. Their notorious ‘Boutique Panto’s’ have become a legendary part of London’s Christmas, known for their ‘off-piste’ nature and described by the Telegraph as “the annual madhouse”.  Other titles include The Three Musketeers, Billy the Kid - A Panto Western, Beowulf - an epic panto, Buttons - A Cinderella Panto, Mirror, Mirror - A Snow White Panto, Pinocchio and King Tut - an Egypt Panto.  Aside from their Christmas productions, they are considered one of the champions of the current reinvigoration of Gilbert and Sullivan, described as “the masters of G&S in small places” and are committed to devising new work.  They have performed across the UK in venues ranging from pub theatres to concert halls, and have toured to the USA, Ireland, France, Italy and Spain.  They have co-produced operas with the Iford Arts Festival as a regular visiting company, and are proud to be an associate company of The King’s Head Theatre, London.

Over 14 years CCO’s wide range of work includes Patience, Ruddigore, The Mikado, H.M.S Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, one act operettas by Sullivan without Gilbert, including their notorious productions of The Zoo and Trial by Jury, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Puccini’s La bohème and Tosca (both in the UK and France), Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Così fan tutte and Impresario, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, and an evening of the Avant Garde including music by Ligeti, Maxwell Davies and Schoenberg, linked to a composition education project supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and RC Sheriff Trust.  They recently returned to the King’s Head Theatre to present new productions of The Mikado & H.M.S Pinafore and have just completed a summer tour of the U.K with their productions of H.M.S Pinafore and Ruddigore.  After this year’s panto, they will present a new production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe for the King’s Head Theatre in the Spring.


Amanda Malpass PR Limited Hudson House, 8 Tavistock Street, London WC2E 7PP

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