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Panto star Linda Lusardi brings glamour to Gravesend!

Linda Lusardi will bring glamour to Gravesend, when she stars as the Wicked Fairy in Sleeping Beauty - this year’s spectacular pantomime at the Woodville - doing battle with 90’s pop sister act Cleopatra who play the Good Fairies. Gravesend favourite Ant Payne will return as Silly Billy, and Kent actor and director Rob Forknall will join the cast to play the Nanny.

Linda Lusardi has headlined in more than twenty-five pantomimes around the country, including Plymouth, Darlington, Woking, Cardiff, and Wolverhampton. On television, she appeared in Dancing On Ice, and also joined the live show on it’s UK tour. In 2014, Linda was thrilled to be invited to become one of ITV’s Loose Women. Linda has also played her fair share of soap characters, having had leading roles in Emmerdale, Brookside and The Bill.

Linda will be doing battle with 90’s pop sister act Cleopatra this Christmas. Lead singer Cleo Higgins, who has most recently starred in the West End, National, and International tours of Thriller Live, will be joined by her sisters Zainam and Yonah, to reform as Cleopatra, as they play Sleeping Beauty’s three good fairies. In the 90’s, Cleopatra had a string of top five hit songs, plus their own sitcom, Cleopatra Comin’ Atcha, on ITV. They supported the Spice Girls on their sell out Spice World tour, and even performed for Pope John Paul II, backed by a 100-piece orchestra, at an event that was broadcast worldwide. The band has reformed a handful of times since then. In 2005 they appeared on ITV’s Hit Me, Baby, One More Time, and also on the TV show Pop Goes The Band in 2009. This will be Cleopatra’s second Christmas with Gravesend Panto producers, having made their debut in Sevenoaks last year.

Ant Payne returns to the Woodville for his fourth panto season in Gravesend, and this year will be joined by Kent actor and director Rob Forknall, as the dame. Rob is best known in the county for his open air summer Shakespeare tours, but he has also played dame around the country for the last twenty years, most recently playing pantomime seasons in Kettering, Rickmansworth and Rotherham. Lucy Reed, who has previously played leading roles in Jack And The Beanstalk and Alice In Wonderland at the Woodville, returns to Gravesend to play Sleeping Beauty.

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