It's time to 'hang up the frocks' - Stevenage pantomime legend Paul Laidlaw bows out
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
It's the end of an era as Stevenage pantomime legend Paul Laidlaw has decided to bow out of the Gordon Craig Theatre show.
This year's Gordon Craig panto is Aladdin – but the cast will no longer include popular star Paul Laidlaw as the Dame.
Produced by Jordan Productions, panto favourite Paul was due to play Widow Twankey but will now be watching from the audience.
In a statement posted on the Gordon Craig Theatre's social media channels, Paul Laidlaw said: "Having appeared in pantomime for 50 years, 35 of them playing Dame at the Gordon Craig Theatre, I have decided that it is time to 'hang up the frocks'.
"This was not an easy decision to make, nor did I take it lightly, but after an enforced year’s break this seems the right time to pass on the torch to someone new.
"I have enjoyed every moment at the Gordon Craig, playing ‘mum’ to so many wonderful ‘sons’, fantastic casts, amazing technicians and crews (still, in my opinion, the best in the country) and above all, loyal and enthusiastic audiences who I have come to regard as friends.
"I have been a cog in the machine which produces the very best in Christmas entertainment and I know that these wonderful shows will continue under the brilliant direction of Chris Jordan and his hard-working and dedicated team.
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"I shall miss you all very much, but I will be back at the Gordon Craig, now sitting in the audience enjoying the magical productions in this theatre which has been, for so many years, my second home."
The Gordon Craig Theatre team wished Paul "all the very best" and thanked him for "his many dedicated years of service to the Stevenage panto".
In a Facebook post the theatre added: "We are very fortunate to have shared so many laughs over the last 35 years and we look forward to seeing Paul in the audience this year."
Pantomime Aladdin is due to run at the Gordon Craig Theatre from Friday, November 26, 2021 to Sunday, January 23, 2022.