Marlowe pantomime dame Ben Roddy returns to the Canterbury theatre in a different guise next month (May).
The Honorary Patron of the KM Charity Team will be starring in Don’t Dress For Dinner, Marc Camoletti’s side-splitting comedy of gastronomic proportions (he also produces the show). Ben will be joined by Olivier Award-winning actress Sara Crowe (EastEnders, Four Weddings And A Funeral), and brilliant farceur Damian Williams (Birds Of A Feather, Being Tommy Cooper).
In the fast-paced farce, Bernard’s wife Jacqueline is away for the weekend, so he invites his gorgeous Parisian mistress Suzy to stay. He also invites his best friend Robert along as an alibi, and hires chef Suzette to prepare a feast.
Ben (who plays Bernard) trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Since graduating, he has worked extensively in all areas of the profession, including theatre (he has appeared in more than 100 productions across the UK and beyond), radio, television and film. In the last year alone, he has appeared as Charles in A Party to Murder, Nick in Bedroom Farce, Peter Marriot in Sound Of Murder, and in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
He hosted The Marlowe’s fifth anniversary gala performance and The Philharmonia Orchestra’s celebration of the music of John Barry (also at The Marlowe). Ben has appeared in 20 consecutive seasons of pantomime; in recent years as the resident dame at The Marlowe.
Sara (Jacqueline) has countless theatre, TV and film credits, with roles ranging from Madame Woo in Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith), Ruth in Calendar Girls (Noel Coward), Sheila in EastEnders, Sarah Blasdale in Doctors, Fatima in Carry on Columbus, Laura in Four Weddings And A Funeral, to Queen Thistle’s voice in Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom (animation).
Damian Williams (Robert) Damian became well known to television audiences in the early nineties for his appearances as Ginger Gahagan in the BBC series Billy Webb and the second series, Alfonzo Bonzo. He has numerous other television appearances and is always in demand for musical theatre. His first love is comedy (his heroes are Laurel and Hardy), and he has played various comedy roles. Damian was Tommy Cooper in the new play Being Tommy Cooper, and most recently he also played Tommy in the short film The Last Laugh, written and directed by Paul Hendy and for which Damian won Best Actor at Southampton Film Festival. Damian has toured the country for more than 25 years has a wealth of experience in theatre, making him a well-respected farceur.
Don’t Dress For Dinner, which is in its 30th year and comes from the same author as Boeing Boeing, is at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, at 7.30pm on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 May. Tickets, priced from £19.75 to £32.75 (concessions available; booking fee applies) are from the Box Office on 01227 787787, and marlowetheatre.com.