EXCLUSIVE: The cultural phenomenon that is Netflix’s hit drama Bridgerton will impact London Palladium pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk with the casting of Louis Gaunt — he played dashing Lord Lumley in Season 2 of the frothy Regency-era drama — who will take on the title role of the farm lad who trades in the beloved family cow for magic beans.
Lord Lumley was one of the young blades in Bridgerton who made the acquaintance of Charithra Chandran’s Edwina Sharma, while also being at the beck and call of Jonathan Bailey’s Lord Anthony Bridgerton. In one scene Lord Bridgerton spots Lord Lumley escorting Edwina to the races. He quickly gets rid of him by ordering him to fetch lemonade.
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Jack and the Beanstalk also stars Dawn French (The Vicar of Dibley), Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot. Natalie McQueen and Rob Madge, an actor and social media superstar, also have joined the cast.
McQueen will play the panto’s Princess, while Madge, well known for his comic timing, will play the cow, Pat.
Michael Harrison, the top executive at Crossroads Pantomimes, told Deadline that Clary, the panto’s main writer and principal dame, will add a flavor of Bridgerton to the script. “You can be sure that Julian will throw in a few references to Bridgerton,” he said. “There’s much to make merry of. One minute Louis Gaunt’s in Bridgerton, the next he’s climbing up a beanstalk. The jokes won’t rest there because Julian has 12 costume changes in lavish gowns.
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”He’ll be sweeping on stage like Queen Charlotte,” said Harrison, referencing the mischievous monarch played by Golda Rosheuvel in the Netflix show. The actress also will star in Bridgerton spinoff Queen Charlotte.
Gaunt ended a run as Bert the chimney sweep in stage musical Mary Poppins at London’s Prince Edward Theatre last weekend. He made his West End stage debut as a dancer in the Dick Whittington panto at the Palladium in 2017.
The Palladium pantomime, a lush extravaganza, has become a seasonal tradition in recent years. Harrison has spoken to Broadway theater owners about the possibility of introducing pantomime to American audiences. “It’ll happen one day,” said Harrison. “Though we’d need to tailor it to American tastes, oh yes we will,” he added gleefully.
Jack and the Beanstalk will begin rehearsals in November with a first performance on December 10. The season will last for five weeks.