Best-known for her role as Val Pollard, Charlie Hardwick was a regular on ITV1’s soap Emmerdale from 2004 until the death of her character last summer. In that time, she proved a hit with soap fans and critics alike and was nominated six times for Best Comedy Performance at the British Soap Awards, an accolade she won in 2006.
In addition to her television work Charlie has also appeared in the films Purely Belter, Billy Elliot and The Scar (for which she won the Best Actress award at the Monte Carlo Film Awards). She also appeared in the UK tour of Cooking with Elvis alongside Frank Skinner and The Awkward Squad and made her pantomime debut for Qdos Entertainment in last year’s record-breaking production of Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Charlie will play the Magical Mermaid, guiding the high-flying hero Peter Pan, the Darling family and the Lost Boys from the evil clutches of the dastardly Captain Hook.
Joining Charlie is S Club 7 singing star Jon Lee in the title role of Peter Pan. Jon made his professional stage debut aged 13 playing the title role in Oliver! at the London Palladium and appeared in EastEnders. In 1999 he joined the acclaimed pop group S Club 7, launched via the popular BBC television series Miami 7. The group went on to win millions of fans, had four UK number one singles, recorded four studio albums and sold over 14 million albums worldwide. The band also won two BRIT awards, and toured the UK extensively. In 2015 the band reunited for a 12 date tour of the UK which saw all seven members together again performing their greatest hits to legions of their fans, both old and new.
After the group disbanded Jon went on to enjoy a successful stage career, starring as Marius in Les Misérables at the Palace and Queen’s Theatre, and appeared in the musicals Love Shack, Teen Scream and Tomorrow Morning. Returning to the West End Jon starred as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre and released his debut solo album Fallen Angel. Most recently Jon led the cast of the 50’s musical Forever Plaid at the St James Theatre, London.
Charlie and Jon will join the recently announced Billy Pearce as Smee and Darren Day as Captain Hook in the festive family production packed full of laughter, music, flying, special effects and a pirate ship full of audience participation.
Executive Producer of Peter Pan, Qdos Entertainment’s managing director, Michael Harrison said:
“The casting of Charlie Hardwick and Jon Lee add further comedy and musical talent to our Alhambra Theatre pantomime, which is fitting for Yorkshire’s biggest and funniest pantomime. Peter Pan will be packed with special effects and will once again see us using 3D projection to bring the action right out into the auditorium!”
Adam Renton, General Manager Bradford Theatres comments:
“It’s very exciting to welcome another two talented performers into our fantastic headline cast. The region’s audiences have huge affection for the Alhambra Theatre’s Christmas show – there’s always something for everyone to get pleasure from. I’m sure that audiences this year will thoroughly enjoy our outstanding festive entertainment for theatregoers of all ages.”
Peter Pan will be staged by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s largest pantomime producer, and the company behind the theatre’s record-breaking productions at the Alhambra Theatre each year.