THE weather has been tilting towards Christmas conditions this week so the announcement that X Factor also-ran Chico is powering Rotherham’s panto is timely.
The cheeky chap behind the awful hit It’s Chico Time will be donning his costume for Jack & The Beanstalk at the Civic Theatre from December 2 – his third stint in a festive offering in the town.
Chico reached the X Factor quarter finals in 2006 before topping the charts with his inimitable single.
“We’ve had some great names light up the stage before, but in terms of sheer fun-factor and performance Chico takes the cake,” says Rotherham Theatres manager Mark Scott.
“He’s a fantastic performer and a real coup for Rotherham. It takes a lot to not only perform in front of 15m people on the X Factor each week, but also to win the hearts and minds of the general public enough to hit the top of the charts, proving that he’s a born performer.
“The panto is going to have a bucketful of extra energy thanks to Chico and I can’t wait to see him on the stage. He has a reputation as a first-class entertainer and a really nice guy. The audience will love him.”
Auditions recently took place for Chico’s little co-stars and 60 hopefuls were whittled down at the Civic to just 12 for the 71-show run.
“We had a fantastic turn- out,” says Mark. “Rotherham has some genuine potential superstars and it was very hard to choose between the children.
“We had a little help from the giant, who came on stage to have a look at who will be joining him in December. The kids really took to him and I know Rotherham audiences will too.
The panto is again being produced by Spillers Pantomimes, who have brought gems to the stage for the past 10 years.
It’s been nearly 15 years since Jack last took his beanstalk to the Civic.
Tickets for the show are available now from the Box Office in the Central library and Arts Centre on Walker Place. Alternatively, call 01709 823621 or visit www.rotherham.gov.uk/theatres.