Fringe Box



Glittering Evening at G Live for the UK Pantomime Awards

Published on: 24 Jun, 2024
Updated on: 25 Jun, 2024

By Ferenc Hepp

We may at last have seen some sunshine and summer weather in the UK, but all eyes were on the stars on and off stage who make pantomimes happen at the UK Pantomime Association Pantomime Awards 2024, in association with Stagecoach Performing Arts, at G Live last week.

A view of the auditorium at G Live with Myra DuBois presenting onstage at the UK Pantomime Awards 2024. Picture: Andrew Billington.

Founded in 2021, the UK Pantomime Association is a charity formed to explore, share and celebrate pantomime by investigating the genre’s rich past, engaging with contemporary practice and inspiring the future.

We were told that 70 judges watched more than 720 performances between them, all at their own expense, in order to create the shortlist and decide on the winners of the awards: a huge and very impressive undertaking.

The red carpet was out, photographers were snapping away, and there was an array of fabulous outfits.

Awards co-presenters Ore Oduba and Angellica Bell. Picture: Andrew Billington.

We were spoiled with three hosts: broadcaster, actor and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba, TV and radio broadcaster Angellica Bell, and the ‘one-woman entertainment complex’ from Rotherham, Myra DuBois, who stole the show with many one liners and witty/sarcastic remarks. My favourite being: “Some go into showbusiness to have their names in lights on a marquee, some get a Powerpoint in Guildford.”

Ore Oduba, Myra DuBois and Angellica Bell on stage at the UK Pantomime Awards 2024. Picture: Andrew Billington.

It was especially good to see a lot of people recognised who don’t often take the limelight and are not the star performers.

These included awards for best set design, best sound design, best lighting design, best costume design, best contribution to music and best script, as well as on-stage performers who would not normally be named at other award ceremonies, such as best ensemble, best secondary lead, best magical being, best early career newcomer and best newcomer to pantomime.

The full list of winners can be found via the UK Pantomime Association website:

There were some notable local achievers, including Guildford School of Acting graduates Courtney Bowman (nominated for best magical being), Alistair So (nominated for best principal lead) and Alexandra Mardell (winner of the best principal lead for Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Theatre Royal Plymouth).

Jack Lane, with some Guildford training and performing connections, also received a well deserved nomination for his exceptional design of Beauty and the Beast at the Capitol in Horsham.

Gary Hardy-Brown collects the Outstanding Achievement award on behalf of Twins FX at the UK Pantomime Awards 2024. Picture: Andrew Billington

There were some emotional moments towards the end of the evening as the special recognition awards were presented to some venues and individuals who were not expecting to receive anything.

This included Macrobert Arts Centre Stirling, who received the Award for Achievement in Inclusive Practice; Cinderella at The Theatre Chipping Norton, who won the Award for Achievement in Innovation; and Michael J Batchelor, who received an award for his contribution to Pantomime History, Tradition and Heritage.

Twins FX received the Outstanding Achievement Award for their exceptional contribution to the pantomime industry. Their special effects have revolutionised pantomime through breathtaking transformation sequences over many years.

Matthew Siviter performing on stage at the UK Pantomime Awards 2024. Picture: Andrew Billington.

The ceremony was interspersed with special guest performances from Rob Madge, who sang a number from My Son’s A Queer (But What Can You Do?) as well as presenting the coveted Best Pantomime Awards, panto dame Matthew Siviter, who caused a buzz with his special rendition of a Beatles classic, entertainment from one of the industry’s top clowns Tweedy, and a high-energy routine from Stagecoach Performing Arts students.

Everyone had a wonderful, entertaining, feel good evening. A big thanks must go to G Live for being great hosts, and The UK Pantomime Association for presenting such a fabulous evening.

If you feel you may be able to volunteer and have a relevant arts/events/marketing/fundraising/media background, or want to become a judge this year, do contact them via and I am sure they will be delighted to hear from you.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *