Knight of the stage Sir Ian McKellen, Hi-de-Hi! star Su Pollard and TV presenter Vernon Kay were among the winners at the 2023 Pantomime Awards.
Performers and others who worked on the pantomime productions of classic fairy-tales including Jack And The Beanstalk, Cinderella and Beauty And The Beast were all recognised at the annual event.
The star-studded ceremony took place at the Trafalgar Theatre in London’s West End on Tuesday.
It was hosted by UK Pantomime Association (UKPA) president Christopher Biggins.
Sir Ian was honoured with a special recognition award, which celebrates productions and individuals representing UKPA values, for his passionate advocacy and services to the artform of pantomime.
The veteran film and stage actor recently starred in a production of Mother Goose, as the eponymous goose, alongside comedian John Bishop.
His co-star Anna-Jane Casey also took home the best supporting artist award, and the show itself won best pantomime in the 500 to 900 seater category.
Special recognition awards were also given to the Cast, Doncaster theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East, who were both recognised for their work towards furthering inclusivity.
Pollard received the outstanding achievement award for her many decades of passion and commitment to treading the boards in pantos around the country.
The English actress has appeared in over 35 stage plays and musicals, as well as over 40 pantomimes throughout her career.
Kay won the best newcomer to pantomime award for his performance in Cinderella, which was put on at the Wycombe Swan theatre in High Wycombe.
The production was the TV presenter and DJ’s pantomime debut, starring in the role of Dandini, an experience he previously described as an “emotional rollercoaster”.
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Simon Sladen, chair of the UKPA said: “The Pantomime Awards celebrate an array of outstanding talent and demonstrate an industry alive and thriving.
“The commitment, creativity and passion on show each season makes pantomime one of the most thrilling of all theatrical genres.
“The UK Pantomime Association is proud to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding skill, expertise and excellence upon the pantomime stage.”
Founded in 2021, the UKPA is a charity that explores, shares and celebrates pantomime by investigating the genre’s rich past, engaging with contemporary practice and inspiring the future.
Butlin’s was the principal sponsor for the UK Pantomime Awards 2023.