Keala Settle to star in Jack and the Beanstalk this Christmas

Northampton’s Royal & Derngate is delighted to announce that Tony Award-nominated star Keala Settle, from The Greatest Showman, will be heading up the cast in this year’s spectacular Christmas pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. For Settle’s first ever pantomime, she will be joined by Horrible HistoriesRichard David-Caine, with Alex Lodge returning as Jack, and the hilarious Bob Golding returning as Dame.

Vocal powerhouse Keala Settle will play the Fairy. Her performance of the anthemic This Is Me in the global blockbuster movie The Greatest Showman earned her critical acclaim, with the original soundtrack becoming 2018’s best-selling album worldwide. The song won a Golden Globe in 2018 as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Having starred in many Broadway shows, including Waitress, Les Misérables and Hairspray, Keala recently joined the cast of the major new TV drama Murder in Provence, and made her West End debut in & Juliet, before joining the all-star cast of the new Sister Act revival. 

Keala Settle commented:

I am absolutely thrilled to be appearing in my first ever pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at Royal & Derngate in Northampton. Panto is such a beloved institution in this country and I have always wanted to be a part of one. It’s going to be an incredible experience and just what we need for this 2022 festive season… I can’t wait!”

Playing the villainous Luke Backinanger in Jack and the Beanstalk, Richard David-Caine is one half of comedy duo Cook and Line who featured in CBeebies’ BAFTA-winning show Swashbuckle and part of the core cast in the legendary comedy series Horrible Histories and Horrible Histories: The Movie, and also starred in CBBC mockumentary Class Dismissed.

Dame Trott will be played by top Pantomime Dame Bob Golding, who returns to the Northampton stage after winning the hearts of local audiences last year. Highlights of his wide-ranging career on stage and screen include the multi-award-winning one man show Morecambe celebrating the comic legend Eric Morecambe. 

After playing the eponymous hero in last year’s Dick Whittington, Alex Lodge returns to the Derngate stage as Jack. Alex is currently starring as Jay Osmond in the tour of The Osmonds: A New Musical. His West End appearances include The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre and A Christmas Carol at the Dominion.

Building on the success of last year’s Dick Whittington, Royal & Derngate are excited to be working in partnership again with award-winning pantomime producer Evolution Productions. A family business, run by husband and wife Paul Hendy and Emily Wood, Evolution are four-time winners of Pantomime of The Year in the Great British Pantomime Awards, scooping the accolade for their Jack and the Beanstalk in Canterbury last Christmas. 

Jo Gordon, Chief Executive at Royal & Derngate said: “We’re delighted to have Keala Settle joining our panto cast this year, and to be working with the same great team that made Dick Whittington such a success last year. Christmas is such a special time of year, when many children are introduced to theatre for the first time, and Jack and the Beanstalk promises to be one of our greatest pantomimes ever!”

Written by Paul Hendy and co-directed by Emily Wood and Bob Golding, Jack and the Beanstalk promises to be spectacular, top quality entertainment with lavish sets, a hilarious script, knockout vocals and fun for all the family.

Jack and the Beanstalk will run from Friday 9 December 2022 to Monday 2 January 2023. For more information and to book tickets, go to or call Box Office on 01604 624811


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