This year’s pantomime at Harrogate Theatre, Cinderella, will be directed by Joyce Branagh.

Joyce has a wealth of pantomime experience having directed for Watford Palace Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse and most recently at the Lawrence Batley Theatre. She is also a well-respected writer of pantomime having written for South Hill Park Arts Centre and Cast in Doncaster. She was nominated for Best Script at the British Pantomime Awards in 2018.

Joyce served on the theatre’s Board from 2013 to 2019 was also the Chair for the final year so knows what the pantomime means to our audiences.

Joyce Branagh’s appointment has been made following the sudden death of Harrogate Theatre’s pantomime director and co-writer, Phil Lowe on 13 October.

David Bown, Chief Executive said:

“Joyce has a pantomime pedigree that speaks for itself, and we are hugely grateful to her for stepping in. She will be able to bring her own flair to a magical script from Phil Lowe.”

Joyce Branagh, Director said:

“I know what a huge shock this is for the theatre to lose such a talented colleague and friend, especially at this time of year.  However, Phil has left us an amazingly funny script, and I feel honoured to be able to step in and help the cast and team here bring his wonderful gags to life. In the words of Phil’s heroes Morecambe and Wise, we’ll bring some sunshine, laughter and love back into the theatre. It’ll be our tribute to him.”

Cinderella will mark the reopening of Harrogate Theatre for its first performances since theatres were closed in the first lockdown back in March 2020. Cinderella opens on 24 November 2021 and runs through to 16 January 2022.