Or Goldilocks goes home and away to meet her neighbours Aladdin and Cinderella.

1. Introduction

Since the beginning of the 1990s the traditional British Christmas pantomime seasons have featured actors and actresses from Australian TV soap operas. With the enormous popularity in the UK of series such as “Home and away” and “Neighbours”, British pantomime entrepreneurs found the presence of a popular actor or actress from the TV screen a sure way to attract young audiences and fill seats. The arrival of the Australian soap stars caused some consternation in the ranks of the British acting fraternity as reported in the Sydney morning herald (21 Dec. 1992). However, as long as the TV series remain popular, the practice continues.

The National Library has documented this phenomenon since the early 1990s by collecting a large sample of the vividly colourful programs and printed ephemera produced by pantomime managements. With the assistance of the Library’s Acquisition Consultant in London, Sara Joynes, supply of this material is a regular component in the ongoing acquisition of programs for Australians currently performing in all fields of theatre in the UK.

The UK acquisition activity supports one of the features of the Library’s Australian performing arts collection, namely the priority given to documenting Australian performing artists overseas. The exodus of Australian singers, actors, dancers, rock music groups, comedians, puppeteers, conductors, directors, designers …etc., going outside Australia for experience, training, or the eventual pursuit of an expatriate career has long been a feature of the Australian performing arts landscape. TV soap opera performers travelling to the UK to play in pantomimes is one contemporary aspect of that phenomenon. Examples of stars from other eras and stages such as Sir Robert Helpmann and Dame Judith Anderson are also well represented in the PROMPT collection. 

2. Listing of pantomimes (alphabetical by title)

Australian TV soap opera stars in UK pantomimes -

TITLE/AUSTRALIAN PERFORMERS

CITY/TOWN

DATES

MATERIAL HELD

Aladdin

Lucinda Cowden
"Neighbours"

Marlowe Theatre,
Canterbury

12 December 1992

Program

Aladdin

Greg Benson
"Home and Away" 

and
Fiona Spence
"I can jump puddles"

Theatre Royal,
Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

19 December - 
30 December 1991

1 January - 
17 January 1992

Program

Aladdin

Lucinda Cowan
"Neighbours"

Little Theatre,
Middlesbrough

7 December 1995 – 
6 January 1996

Program
Flyer
Poster
Press releases
Subscription booklet

Aladdin

Alex Dimitriades
"Heartbreak High"

Cambridge Corn Exchange,
Cambridge

16 December 1995 -
14 January 1996

Program
Flyer
Poster
Press releases

Aladdin

Felice Arena
"Neighbours"

Theatre Royal,
Newcastle Upon Tyne

13 December 1996 -
18 January 1997

Program
Flyer
Media release
Photograph

Aladdin

Anthony Engelman 
"Neighbours"

Grand Theatre,
Wolverhampton

13 December 1997 -
8 February 1998

Program
Flyers
Brochure
Poster

Aladdin

Isla Fisher
"Home and Away"

Assembly Hall,
Tunbridge Wells

18 December 1997 -
4 January 1998

Program
Flyer
Cuttings
Poster

Aladdin

Mark Little
"Neighbours"

Connaught Theatre,
Worthing

11 December 1998 –
10 January 1999

Program
Flyer
Brochure
Poster

Aladdin

Stefan Dennis
"Neighbours"

Playhouse,
Weston-Super-Mare

21 December 1998 -
17 January 1999

Program
Flyer
Photo
Cuttings
Poster

Aladdin

Marcel Bracks
"Heartbreak High"

Gordon Craig Theatre,
Stevenage

3 December 1999 –
30 January 2000

Program
Flyer
Media portfolio
Review

Aladdin

Alan Fletcher
"Neighbours"

North Wales Theatre

15 December 1999 –
8 January 2000

Flyer
Review

Aladdin

Ian Rawlings
"Neighbours"

Beck Theatre, 
Hayes, Middlesex

17 December 1999 –
15 January 2000

Program
Flyer
Poster
Photograph with Trader Faulkner
Review

Aladdin and his wonderful lamp

Rebekah Elmaloglou
"Home and Away"

De Montfort Hall Theatre, 
Leicester

20 December 1993 –
9 January 1994

Flyer

Babes in the Woods

Lucinda Cowden
"Neighbours"

Theatre Royal,
Norwich

20 December 1997 -
24 January 1998

Program
Small poster

Beauty and the Beast

John Adam
"Home and Away"

The Beck Theatre,
Middlesex

14 December 1994 -
15 January 1995

Program
Flyer
Photograph

Beauty and the Beast

Mark Little
"Neighbours"

Komedia, 
Brighton

10 December 1999 –9 January 2000

Flyer
Subscription booklet
Review

Cinderella

Gayle Blakeney and 
Gillian Blakeney
"Neighbours"

Pavilion Theatre,
Rhyl, Wales

16 December 1993 -
8 January 1994

Program

Cinderella

Anne Charleston
"Neighbours"

Grand Opera House,
York

20 December 1993 -
16 January 1994

Program
Photograph

Cinderella

Nicolle Dickson
"Home and Away"

Alex Papps
"Flying Doctors"

Pavilion Theatre,
Weymouth

27 December 1993 -
9 January 1994

Program

Cinderella

Nick Parrish
"Home and Away"

Grand Theatre,
Wolverhampton

17 December 1994 -
5 February 1995

Flyer

Cinderella

Ross Newton
"Home and Away"

The Cambridge Corn Exchange

17 December 1994 -
14 January 1995

Christmas Season Special Souvenir Program
Flyer

Cinderella

Ian Smith
"Neighbours"

The Mayflower,
Southhampton

16th December 1993 -
6th February 1994

Program
Flyer
Press release

Cinderella

Rolf Harris

Wimbledon Theatre

16 December 16 1994 -
29 January 1995

Program
Flyer

Cinderella

Bruce Roberts
"Home and Away"

Grand Theatre,
Wolverhampton

17 December 1994 –
29 January 1995–

Flyer

Cinderella

Craig Beamer 
"Home and Away"

Kings Theatre,
Southsea

14 December 1995 –
13 January 1996

Program
Press cuttings
Flyer
Poster

Cinderella

Rolf Harris

Birmingham Hippodrome

21 December 1995 -
17 February 1996

Program
Press release
Brochures

Cinderella

Ray Meagher
"Home and Away"

Chichester Festival Theatre

13 December 1996 -12 January 1997

Program
Flyer

Cinderella

Bruce Roberts
"Home and Away"

Theatre Royal,
Nottingham

11 December 1997 - 25 January 1998

Program
Flyers
Photograph

Cinderella

Richard Norton
"Neighbours" and 
"Home and Away"

Towngate Theatre, Pool

17 December 1997 -
17 January 1998

Program
Flyers
Poster

Cinderella

Benjie McNair
"Neighbours"

Empire Theatre,
Sunderland

15 December 1997 -10 January 1998

Program
Flyers
Poster
Photograph
Cuttings

Cinderella

Ray Meagher
"Home and Away"

Cliffs Pavilion,
Southend-On-Sea

18 December 1998 –
16 January 1999

Program
Flyer
Poster
Cutting
Ephemera

Cinderella

Isla Fisher
"Home and Away"

Palace Theatre,
Manchester

18 December 1998 –
24 January 1999

Program
Flyer
Poster

Cinderella

Stan Pretty
"Minder"

Salisbury Playhouse, 
Wiltshire

4 December 1999 –
15 January 2000

Program
Press release
Photographs (2)
Review

Cinderella

Tom Oliver
"Neighbours"

White Rock Theatre,
Hastings

11 December 1999 –
3 January 2000

Program
Flyer
Review

Dick Whittington

Gayle Blakeney and
Gillian Blakeney
"Neighbours"

Empire Theatre, 
Liverpool

18 December 1992 -
31 January 1993

Program

Dick Whittington

Anne Charleston
"Neighbours"

Theatre Royal,
Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

December 1992

Program

Dick Whittington

Richard Norton
"Home and Away"

Barnsley Civic

17 December 1994 –
8 January 1995

Program
Flyer

Dick Whittington

Kristian Schmid
"Neighbours"

Wycombe Swan,
High Wycombe,
Buckinghamshire

10 December 1994 -
14 January 1995

Program
Flyer

Dick Whittington

Sarah Vandenbergh
"Neighbours"

Arts Link, 
Camberley

18 December 1999 –
9 January 2000

Program
Posters (2 sizes)
Flyers
Subscription booklet
Review

Dick Whittington and his wonderful cat

Gillian Blakeney
"Neighbours"

Derngate,
Northhampton

10 December 1994 –
22 January 1995

Program
Flyer
Poster
Press release

Dick Whittington and his wonderful cat

Anthony Engelman
"Neighbours"

Charter Theatre,
Preston

13 December 1996 -
4 January 1997

Program
Brochure

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Ray Meagher 
"Home and Away"

Wimbledon Theatre,
Wimbledon

18 December 1992-
31 January 1993

Program

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Emily Symons
"Home and Away"

Hippodrome,
Birmingham

22 December 1997 -
14 February 1998

Program
Photograph
Poster

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

Emily Symons
"Home and Away"

Mayflower,
Southampton

17 December 1998 -
14 February 1999

Program
Flyer
Flyer

Jack and the Beanstalk

Kristian Schmid
"Neighbours"

Orchard Theatre,
Dartford, Kent

11 December 1993 -
15 January 1994

Program

Jack and the Beanstalk

Ray Meagher
"Home and Away"

Birmingham Hippodrome

22 December 1994 -
25 February 1995

Program
Brochure
Poster

Jack and the Beanstalk

Dan Falzon
"Neighbours"

Swansea Grand Theatre

14 December 1995 –
4 February 1996

Program
Flyer
Poster
Press release
Subscription booklet
Review

Jack and the Beanstalk

Ray Meagher
"Home and Away"

Mayflower,
Southampton

15 December 1995 -
4 February 1996

Poster
Media release
Flyer

Jack and the Beanstalk

Lynne McGranger
"Home and Away"

Princess Theatre,
Torquay

11 December 1997 -
4 January 1998

Flyers
Photograph

Jack and the Beanstalk

Sarah Vandenbergh
"Neighbours"

Harlequin Theatre,
Red Hill

13 December 1997 -
11 January 1998

Program
Flyer
Photographs

Jack and the Beanstalk

Lynne McGranger
"Home and Away"

Grand Opera House,
York

17 December 1998 -
10 January 1999

Program
Flyer

Jack and the Beanstalk

Daniel McPherson
"Neighbours"

The Victoria Theatre, 
Halifax

15 December 1999 –
3 January 2000

Program
Flyer
Press release
Review

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jesse Spencer
"Neighbours"

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

16 December 1999 –
27 February 2000

Program
Flyer
Poster
Stickers
Review

Jack and the Beanstalk

Scott Jones
"Heartbreak High"

and
Chelsea Blake
"Neighbours"

Woodville Halls Theatre, 
Gravesend

18 December 1999 –
8 January 2000

Program
Flyer
Poster
Review

Mother Goose

Terence Donovan
"Neighbours"

Theatre Royal, 
Plymouth

15 December 1995 –
3 February 1996

Program
Flyer
Poster

Peter Pan

Terence Donovan
"Home and Away" and
"Neighbours"

Pavilion Theatre,
Weymouth

27 December 1994 -
8 January 1995

Program

Peter Pan

Billy Kennedy
"Neighbours"

White Rock Theatre,
Hastings

10 December 1998 -
3 January 1999`

Flyer

Peter Pan

Lucinda Cowden
"Neighbours"

Grand Pavilion,
Porthcawl

 

Flyer
Cutting

Peter Pan

Ray Meagher
"Home and Away"

Grand Opera House, 
Belfast

26 November 1999 – 
15 January 2000

Program
Flyer
Poster
Review

Robin Hood

Sarah Vandenbergh
"Neighbours"

Swansea Grand Theatre

19 December 1996 -
2 February 1997

Program
Poster
Photograph
Flyer

Robinson Crusoe

Tom Oliver
"Neighbours"

Pavilion Theatre,
Worthing

17 December 1997 -
4 January 1998

Program
Cuttings
Brochures
Flyers

Sleeping Beauty

Bruce Roberts
"Home and Away"

Swansea Grand Theatre

16 December 1993 -
30 January 1994

Program

Sleeping Beauty

Anne Charleston
"Neighbours"

Epsom Playhouse

14 December 1996 -
4 January 1997

Program
Flyers

Sleeping Beauty

Kate Richie
"Home and Away"

The Tyne Theatre, 
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

9 December 1999 – 
9 January 2000

Flyer
Review

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Dee Smart
"Home and Away"

Hull New Theatre,
Hull

17 December 1993 -
22 January 1994

Program

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Rebekah Elmaloglou
"Home and Away"

Eden Court Theatre,
Inverness

8 December 1994 –
7 January 1995

Program
Flyer
Poster

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Maggie Dence

Gordon Craig Theatre,
Stevenage

9 December 1994 –

21 January 1995

Program

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Bruce Samazan
"Neighbours"

Wycombe Swan

14 December 1995 -
13 January 1996

Program
Flyer
Photograph

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Bernard Curry
"Neighbours"

Hexagon,
Reading

13 December 1997 -
11 January 1998

Program
Flyer 
Poster

Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs

Anne Charleston
"Neighbours"

Pavilion Theatre,
Weymouth

19 December 1998 –
9 January 1999

Program
Flyer
Poster
Cuttings

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Kym Valentine
"Neighbours"

Beck Theatre,
Hayes

18 December 1998 -
16 January 1999

Flyer

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Anne Charleston
"Neighbours"

The Playhouse, 
Weston-Super-Mare

20 December 1999 –
16 January 2000

Program
Posters (2 sizes)
Review

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Jacinta Stapleton
"Neighbours"

Wyvern Theatre, 
Swindon

17 December 1999 –
15 January 2000

Program
Flyer
Poster
Postcard
Subscription booklet (2 seasons)
Review

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Benjie McNair
"Neighbours"
and 
"Home and Away"

Assembly Hall Theatre, 
Tunbridge Wells

16 December 1999 –
2 January 2000

Program
Flyer
Review

3. Location

The programs and ephemera are located in the PROMPT collection under: “PANTOMIMES (UK) – AUSTRALIAN PERFORMERS“