Stars join favourite Dame Damian Williams in Sheffield for new-style Crucible pantomime

Sheffield Theatres and Evolution Pantomimes have announced the cast for Damian’s Pop-Up Panto! at the Crucible Theatre, replacing the popular Lyceum show this year.

Saturday, 21st November 2020, 12:00 pm

Joining legendary Lyceum Dame Damian Williams are comedian, presenter and internet dancing sensation Joe Tracini, West End star Gemma Sutton and Deborah Tracey, who appeared in hit Crucible musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge.

Promised as a “festive fun-sized treat for the whole family”, Damian’s Pop-Up Panto! is written and directed by regular pantomime producer Paul Hendy.

Sheffield Theatres and Evolution Pantomimes have produced the Sheffield Lyceum pantomime for 14 years.

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Damian Williams with, from left, Deborah Tracey, Joe Tracini, Gemma Sutton and Lucas Rush

This year, the panto relocates across Tudor Square to the Crucible for the Together season which briefly started last month before lockdown.

This 75-minute extravaganza will tell the story of what happens when a baddie attempts to steal the joy of pantomime.

Audiences are promised a socially-distanced show that will feature all their favourite pantomime moments including great musical numbers, the brilliant pun routine and, of course, the famous ghost gag bench.

Damian Williams is celebrating his 13th year as Dame.

RTYDS associate artistic director Anthony Lau, who is leading an Open Submissions programme for Sheffield Theatres

Joe Tracini, presenter of CBBC’s The Dengineers, is best known for using Twitter as a platform for talking about mental health. His videos have been watched by more than 40 million people.

Gemma Sutton has previously appeared in two Lyceum pantomimes, Peter Pan and Dick Whittington, and Lucas Rush’s stage credits include the UK tours of Rock of Ages and American Idiot.

Sheffield Theatres are partnering with Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Starlight Children’s Foundation to stream the show to thousands of children in hospitals, hospices and at home.

Damian’s Pop Up Panto! is at the Crucible from December 16 to January 3. Tickets are on sale now from

The Crucible has been configured to ensure social distancing and a safe, relaxed experience.

This includes the introduction of contactless measures such as e-tickets, staggered audience arrival times, temperature checks, the ability to purchase tickets in distanced bubbles and new cleaning routines.

*Sheffield Theatres has launched an open submissions programme, inviting artists from across the region to submit productions for programming for February.

Led by Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme associate artistic director Anthony Lau and a panel of artists, audience members and theatre representatives, the selection process will culminate in a short programme in the Crucible championing the work of Yorkshire artists.

As part of the launch, Sheffield Theatres is convening an online meeting on Monday to welcome artists, audiences and Sheffield residents to come together to discuss the city, culture and what they want to see on the Crucible stage.

A panel of 12 volunteers will be appointed with the aim of reflecting a wide range of experiences. Following a series of workshops, the group will then co-curate the programme of work, with recordings of the selection meetings available for anyone to view to develop their understanding of the programming process.

Anyone interested in submitting work or being part of the selection panel is encouraged to join the online meeting, which is ticketed and free to attend. Book at

Submissions can be made from until December 7, via the website.

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