EastEnders actor Gillian Wright to join panto cast


EastEnders actor Gillian Wright will be leaving Albert Square and heading for Norfolk in December to join the cast of this year’s Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime.

Gillian Wright

Gillian will be treading the boards as the panto baddie in Sleeping Beauty – a very different character to one of the BBC soap’s most memorable residents Jean Slater.

She will join seasoned Theatre Royal panto comedy double-act Richard Gauntlett and Ben Langley who were the first cast members confirmed earlier in the year to star in the 2017-18 festive spectacular.

Gillian has played Stacey Slater’s mum in EastEnders since she first joined the soap in December 2004. A true Walford icon, she is known for her impressive cardigan collection and the ability to rustle up culinary creations such as Sausage Surprise! and Jean’s Fishy Basket. But her character has also battled adversity, from an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder to difficult relationships with her son Sean and daughter Stacey

In addition to EastEnders, Gillian has also appeared in many of television’s most watched shows, including Holby City, Spooks, The Bill, Silent Witness and Coronation Street.

She is no stranger to the West End stage either and most recently played Mary Featherstone in How the Other Half Loves at the Theatre Royal Haymarket alongside Nicholas le Provost, Tamzin Outhwaite & Jason Merrells. Gillian has also appeared in several pantomimes playing both a good fairy and a baddie.

Judy Foster, communications officer at the theatre, said: “Gillian is a highly-experienced actor and we’re thrilled that she is joining our panto family for this year’s festive treat. She can leave all the trials and tribulations of Albert Square behind for a short while to spread some festive cheer to audiences in Norfolk. ”

Sleeping Beauty follows on from the theatre’s highly successful 2016-17 Jack and the Beanstalk panto which was seen by over 61,000 people and generated a record-breaking £1,087,670 in ticket sales.

Tickets for Sleeping Beauty cost from £7-£24.50 and are available now.