A PAIR of South Shields actors are stepping from the stage to the small screen, –for a TV advert to promote their panto.
Craig Richardson and Stephen Sullivan star in this year’s Customs House pantomime, Cinderella, as the Ugly Sisters – stepping into the shoes of two South Tyneside stage legends.
The traditional festive offering, dubbed ‘the little panto with the big heart’, runs at the Mill Dam venue in South Shields, from November 28 to January 5.
Bob Stott and Ray Spencer – better know as Dame Dotty and her dozy son Tommy – had been the face of the panto for almost four decades, but Bob hung up his dress and Ray moved from the stage to the director’s chair.
Their replacements are no strangers to working together, having regularly starred as the Westovian Theatre Society’s panto dame and son. Craig, 28, said: “Stephen and I really look up to Ray and Bob, and we think of them as panto legends. We went to the panto every year, sometimes more than once, so being on the stage is a huge opportunity for us.
“Seeing the advert on TV is going to be weird, but all my friends and family are dying to see it.”
The freelance graphic designer has appeared in the Customs House panto once before, as a knockabout character in 2010’s Puss In Boots.
He added: “I love a challenge. I trust Stephen more than anything, so having him there on the stage with me is a big comfort.”
Stephen, a DJ at the town’s Trocadero’s and Bar 44, said: “Being in the Customs House panto has always been the dream for me.
“I remember going to see it with my family when I was a little boy and looking up at the stage, wishing that I could be there.”
The 27-year-old, who played Daddy Bear in 2008’s Customs House panto, Goldilocks, added: “If you trust the people you’re working with, then you can do anything, and I definitely have that with Craig.”
A 10-second version of the advert is set to be aired on prime-time ITV, during shows like X Factor and Emmerdale, for one week, starting November 25.
Watch the full advert at www.shieldsgazette.com Panto tickets cost from £8 – visit www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 454 1234.