Cannon and Ball return to Lincoln for Theatre Royal panto

Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball return to Lincoln next month for the Lincoln Theatre Royal Christmas pantomime of “Dick Whittington”. Better known as Cannon and Ball, this is the third year running that the comedy duo have performed in the city.


Cannon and Ball return to the Lincoln Theatre Royal as the Ugly Sisters, joined by Peter Armory as King Rat. Photo: Lincoln Theatre Royal

For 2012, they are joined by former Emmerdale bad boy, Peter Armory, who also returns to Lincoln, having performed in “The Woman in White” at the venue earlier in the year.

The trio spoke to The Linc about the city, performing in the pantomime and their plans for Christmas.

Cannon and Ball celebrate 50 years of performing in showbusiness this year by performing in the Lincoln Theatre Royal pantomime for the third year in a row. Bobby Ball explained why they keep on returning to Lincoln: “We like Lincoln and I think it’s a lovely city.”

He continued: “You’ve got two different type of places. You’ve got the top of the hill and the bottom of the hill. We’re coming back because of the theatre here and the owner who owns the theatre (Ian Dickens) is fantastic. That’s why we come back every year. We love him so much.”

Cannon and Ball play the Ugly Sisters, while Armory is filling the role of King Rat, but which characters would they be if they could be any panto characters? Ball said: “Tommy would like to be an ugly sister. Myself, I would be little Johnny from Robin Hood.” Armory added: “I’d like to be the Cheshire Cat.”

With Christmas coming up, the trio revealed their favourite things about the holiday season. Ball said: My favourite thing about Christmas is being with my family. That’s the truth that. Being with my family and then they leave.”

Similarly, Armory said: “Mine is being with my fiancée… and then she leaves.” However, Cannon has different plans: “I enjoy being with myself. I like Christmas. I like to spend it on my own with Father Christmas and then he leaves.”

Ball joked: “It’s very different for me because, with my upbringing, Christmas was very lonely for me. My parents never understood me… because they were Japanese. And I remember my dad once built us a quicksand pit.”

Cannon reminded Ball: “Your mum and dad loved you. You know damn well they did. They played hide and seek with you.” To which Ball responded: “I know they did and I found them ten years later in Newcastle. I like Christmas.”

Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but do the stars of this year’s pantomime believe the true meaning is sometimes lost? Ball said: “As Christian people, you can’t force people to believe in something they might not want to do, so you celebrate it the way you want.”

He continued: “Christmas for me is very much about Jesus going on the cross but for other people it may not be. You should celebrate Christmas to satisfy yourself. I don’t think we can push our faith on anybody else.” Cannon added: “Just enjoy it. Christmas is Christmas for everybody.”

Armory said: “I’m looking forward to Midnight Mass at Lincoln Cathedral. That will be fantastic. That’ll make my Christmas.”

The Lincoln Theatre Royal pantomime, Dick Whittington runs from Friday, December 7th until Sunday, January 13th. Further details are available on the Theatre Royal website.

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