It’s now less than 80 days until Christmas and the Manchester Opera House’s pantomime cast couldn’t be more excited for this year’s festive period, having visited the city centre venue last week to officially launch the show.

Cinderella stars Coronation Street’s Villain of the Year Connor McIntyre alongside his first victim on the soap, Les Dennis, as the Ugly Sisters, with popstar Gareth Gates playing Prince Charming. Joining them are comedian Ben Nickless (Buttons), CBBC’s Shannon Flynn(Cinderella) and soul singer Hayley-Ria Christian (Fairy Godmother) who all hail from the North West, giving this year’s show a distinctly Manchester feel.

Produced once again by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Cinderella will feature all the ingredients of the perfect pantomime; a fantastic cast and orchestra, laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to enjoy.

The launch saw cast pose for photos outside the Opera House with veteran panto dame Les Dennis and debut Ugly Sister Connor McIntyre introducing their comedy characters Phelina and Michaela to passers-by.

Gareth Gates commented, ‘I’m thrilled to be playing the Prince this year. Cinderella is the greatest of all pantomimes and this particular show is really magical.’

CBBC star Shannon Flynn, who plays Cinderella, said ‘I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of pantomime at the Opera House this Christmas. There’s something very special about playing to a home crowd and my friends and family are already booked to come and offer Cinderella some support as she faces those mean Ugly Sisters! Having met all the cast at the launch I know that we have a very special show ahead of us and I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room with Connor, Les, Gareth, Ben, Hayley and the rest of the cast.”

The clock is ticking! Tickets are already on sale from just £12. To book your tickets, or to find out more, visit

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