Derek Griffiths MBE, the highly-acclaimed and much-loved actor, children’s television presenter, composer and pantomime performer, has been appointed as the inaugural Vice President of the UK Pantomime Association.
Founded in 2021, the UK Pantomime Association is a charity that explores, shares and celebrates pantomime by investigating the genre’s rich past, engaging with contemporary practice and inspiring the future.
Derek Griffiths has played numerous pantomime roles over the years, both comic and villain, from Dick Whittington which he wrote, directed and composed at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in 1976 to Beauty and the Beast, at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, in 2021. Special memories include the prestigious London Palladium 1987 pantomime Robin Hood and the Babes in the Woods with actress Barbara Windsor, who has one of The Pantomime Awards named in her memory. This was the final pantomime to play the Palladium until the welcome return of star-studded pantomimes at the venue in 2016. Derek also appeared with the UK Pantomime Association’s President Christopher Biggins in Mother Goose at Theatre Royal Brighton, and its Trustee Chris Jarvis in Peter Pan at The Hexagon, Reading, and in the CBeebies pantomime, A Christmas Carol.
Derek’s countless other stage credits in the West End and around the UK, include The Mousetrap at St Martin’s Theatre, Exit The King at the National Theatre, Driving Miss Daisy on tour, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof alongside James Earl Jones and Adrian Lester at the Novello Theatre, and Miss Saigon at the Drury Lane Theatre playing the Engineer. Family stage highlights include West End roles playing the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and originating the role of Lumière in the West End première production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Alongside his theatre work, Derek Griffiths has worked in television for many years from his early days on Play School and Play Away to most recently the hit drama series, Unforgotten.
Derek Griffiths said: “I am delighted and honoured to become the Vice President of the UK Pantomime Association. I understand the importance it holds in the UK Theatre industry. It is critical in introducing children to live theatre. I look forward to working with a great team of people who share the same passion, to help them promote and nurture pantomime for many future generations of theatregoers.”
Simon Sladen, Chair of the UK Pantomime Association, said: “We are delighted to welcome Derek as Vice President of the UK Pantomime Association. He is such an experienced, respected and loved performer, with a wealth of pantomime knowledge. We look forward to working together to champion pantomime; an artform we both care so much about.”
The UK Pantomime Association recently announced the nominations for The Pantomime Awards 2023 in association with Butlin’s. The Awards ceremony will be held at the Trafalgar Theatre, in London’s West End, on Tuesday 11April 2023, hosted by Christopher Biggins.
For further information about The UK Pantomime Association visit: https://pantomimeassociation.co.uk.
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