Today, Sheffield Theatres and Evolution Pantomimes announce the cast for Damian’s Pop–Up Panto! at the Crucible Theatre. Joining legendary Dame, Damian Williams, are comedian, presenter and internet dancing sensation Joe Tracini (CBBC’s The Dengineers, Hollyoaks), West End star Gemma Sutton (Gypsy, Follies, Girl From the North Country), Lucas Rush (Rock of Ages) and Deborah Tracey (Standing at the Sky’s Edge).

A festive fun-sized treat for the whole family, Damian’s Pop-Up Panto! is written and directed by regular pantomime producer Paul Hendy. Sheffield Theatres and Evolution Pantomimes have produced the Sheffield Lyceum pantomime for 14 years. This year, the panto relocates across Tudor Square to the Crucible Theatre.

This hilarious 75 minute extravaganza will tell the story of what happens when a baddie attempts to steal the joy of pantomime. Described as ‘Panto’s Greatest Hits’, audiences are promised a fun-sized, socially-distanced show that will feature all their favourite pantomime moments including great musical numbers, the brilliant pun routine and, of course, the famous ghost gag bench!

The top calibre cast features returning performers and new faces. Damian Williams is celebrating his 13th year as Sheffield Theatres’ Dame. Joe Tracini, presenter of CBBC’s The Dengineers, is best known for using twitter as a platform for talking about mental health, his videos having been watched by over 40 million people. Gemma Sutton has previously appeared in two Lyceum pantomimes: Peter Pan and Dick Whittington, and Deborah Tracey returns to the Crucible, last appearing in Standing at the Sky’s Edge. Lucas Rush’s credits include the UK tours of Rock of Ages and American Idiot.

Sheffield Theatres are partnering with Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Starlight Children’s Foundation to stream Damian’s Pop-Up Panto! to thousands of children in hospitals, hospices and at home.

Damian’s Pop Up Panto! is at the Crucible Theatre from Wednesday 16 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021. Tickets are on sale now from

The experience of attending the show has been designed with everyone’s safety in mind, in accordance with the latest government advice. The performances will take place in the Crucible theatre which has been configured to ensure social distancing and the safest and most relaxed experience for everyone. This includes the introduction of contactless measures such as e-tickets, staggered audience arrival times, temperature checks, the ability to purchase tickets in distanced bubbles and new cleaning routines. Sheffield Theatres will remain responsive to any further guidance and will adapt its approach accordingly.

Writer and Director Paul Hendy
Musical Director James Harrison
Choreographer Simon Hardwick
Lighting Designer Gary Longfield
Sound Designer Nick Greenhill

Wednesday 16 December 2020 – Sunday 3 January 2021
Press night: Friday 18 December at 7.15pm

Damian Williams
For Sheffield Theatres: Damian is now in his 13th year as Sheffield’s Dame

Theatre credits include: Benidorm Live! (UK Tour); Hairspray (Leicester Curve and Singapore and Kuala Lumpur tour); South Pacific; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Being Tommy Cooper; My Dog’s Got No Nose; Run for Your Wife: Cash on Delivery; Funny Money; Tom Dick & Harry; It Runs in the Family; Not Now Darling; There Goes the Bride; Out of Order; Caught in the Net; Dry Rot; See How they Run; Don’t Dress for Dinner; The Ladykillers.
Television credits include: CBBC’s Andy and the Band; Damian’s Are You Smarter Than Your 10 Year Old?; Birds of a Feather; Billy Webb; Alfonzo Bonzo; The Bill; Spatz; Exam Conditions.

Film credits include: The Last Laugh (Best Actor award Southampton Film Festival)

Lucas Rush
Theatre credits include: Evita (China Tour); Rock Of Ages (UK Tour); Mrs Meers/Resident Director in Thoroughly Modern Millie (UK Tour); Christmas Wonderland (USA Tour); St Jimmy/Resident Director in American Idiot (West End & UK Tour, for which he received A WhatsOnStage Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical); Cabaret (Arts Theatre Aberdeen); Jesus Christ Superstar (World Arena Tour & Universal Pictures); Saturday night Fever (RCCL and USA); Grease (Piccadilly Theatre West End); We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre West End); Fame (UK Tour); Much Ado About Nothing (Italian Theatre Tour); Blood Brothers (The Manoel Theatre Malta); The Merry Wives Of Windsor (RSC Barbican Theatre); Les Miserables (Palace Theatre).

TV credits include: Walking on the Moon (ITV Film), The Definition Of Lonely.

Gemma Sutton
Gemma trained at ArtsEd in London.

For Sheffield Theatres: Dick Whittington and Peter Pan

Theatre credits includes: Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre, West End/Toronto); Blues in the Night (Kiln Theatre - Olivier Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre); Follies (National Theatre); Sweet Charity (The Watermill Theatre); The Rink (Offie Award for Female Performance in a Musical – Southwark Playhouse); A Christmas Carol the Musical (LMTO); Strictly Ballroom (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto); The Go Between (Apollo Theatre - West End); Gypsy (Chichester Festival Theatre/Savoy Theatre - West End); Carousel (Arcola Theatre); Chicago (Leicester Curve); Drunk (Leicester Curve/The Bridewell); Hairspray (UK tour); Me and My Girl (Kilworth House); Legally Blonde – The Musical (Savoy Theatre - West End); Gone with the Wind; Imagine This (New London Theatre - West End); A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Macbeth; Lady Be Good; The Boy Friend (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); and Children Will Listen (Theatre Royal Drury Lane - West End).

Pantomime credits include: Aladdin (Hackney Empire - Best Principal Boy nomination in Great British Pantomime Awards); Peter Pan (Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury) Jack and the Beanstalk (Fairfield Halls, Croydon).

For television credits include: West Side Stories; Gypsy: Live at the Savoy Theatre; Doctors (BBC) and Cilla (ITV).
Concerts include: The Music of James Bond (The Barbican); Songs Under the Stars (Betley Court Farm); and recordings for Grant Olding, Theo Jamieson and Jennifer Whyte.

Deborah Tracey
For Sheffield Theatres: Standing At The Sky's Edge

Theatre credits include: Dogwalker (Stephen Joseph Theatre); Unlocked Festival (Nottingham Playhouse); United Queendom (Les Enfants Terribles); A Mad World My Masters (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Last Women (Belgrade); and Alice’s Adventures Underground (Les Enfants Terribles).

As writer, performer and co-producer: Death of a Beauty Saleswoman and Fades; Braids and Keeping it Real.

Television and film work includes: American Monster (Arrow Media for Discovery); Doctors (BBC); Obsessions (Discovery ID); Fee Fi Fo...Yum (BBC); Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (Fox Searchlight); and Patient Zero (Sony Pictures).

Joe Tracini
TV credits include The Dengineers (BAFTA award); Hollyoaks; My Spy Family; Coming of Age; Two Pints; The Great Outdoors; Inn Mates; Bewitched; and The Keith Lemon Sketch Show.

He also wrote and starred in his own sketch show for BBC iPlayer, and is a British Champion magician.

Sheffield Theatres Listings

Wednesday 16 December 2020 – Sunday 3 January 2021
Press Night: Friday 18 December 7.15pm
Captioned Performance: Saturday 19 December, 2.15pm
Audio Described and Signed Performance: Saturday 19 December, 7.15pm
Tickets from £15 [Limited Availability]

Crucible Lyceum Studio 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA