North East comic to star in the Customs House festive panto

Cal Halbert as Lord Larry Lambton in The Lambton Worm; Cal Halbert as
Lord Larry Lambton and Ray Spencer as Dame Bella Ballcock
Cal Halbert as Lord Larry Lambton in The Lambton Worm; Cal Halbert as Lord Larry Lambton and Ray Spencer as Dame Bella Ballcock

Comedian Cal Halbert will be taking on a whole new look when he takes to the Customs House stage to star in his first panto role.

The 24-year-old stand-up comic, who is one half of comedy duo The Mimic Men alongside Alfie Joey, is used to getting the laughs with his wit and humour.

Now he will be showcasing a different side when he takes on the role of Lord Larry Lambton in the Customs House Christmas panto The Lambton Worm.

His appearance in the show, which runs from November 28 to January 6, was made possible after he contacted Customs House Executive Director Ray Spencer asking him for advice.

He said: “I have always wanted to do panto, I don’t know why, but I always have, so I messaged Ray for some advice and I ended up being cast.

“It is going to be brilliant. I am really looking forward to it.

I have always wanted to do panto, I don’t know why, but I always have, so I messaged Ray for some advice and I ended up being cast.

Cal Halbert

“I want to put in as many voices as possible.”

Cal, who wowed judges when he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2016 alongside Alfie Joey with their A-Z of impressions, will be drastically aged for the part with the aid of prosthetics, wig and facial hair, make- up and costume devised by Newcastle-based designers Fox and Shriek.

Ray said: “We are very lucky to have Cal, a man of 1,000 voices, to play Lord Lambton.

“We’re used to seeing him use his voice to transform into someone else, but Fox and Shriek have done a fantastic job of creating Lord Larry Lambton.”

The Lambton Worm, sponsored by Hays Travel, has been written in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the folk song The Lambton Worm.

It tells the legend of the brave Sir John Lambton, who returns home from war to slay a ferocious beats who has been terrorising the villages around his family’s estate.

But there will be a twist in the tale in The Custom Houses’ hilarious re-telling of the story, however, which sees the return of Ray Spencer as Dame Bella Ballcock and David Lee Hopper as her hapless son Arbuthnot.

The rest of the cast are: Steven Lee Hamilton as The Brave and Bold Sir John, Eleanor Chaganis as the Princess, Natasha Haws as Susie Soothsayer from Southwick, Georgia Nicholson as Poison Pen from Penshaw, Gareth Hunter as The Sultan and Lewis Jobson as Puddles the Dog.

For details, call the box office on 454 1234 or visit www.customshouse.co.uk.