From Thatcher to a pantomime dame

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A giant panto treat for all the family kicked off earlier this month, as Jack and the Beanstalk, starring Spitting Image’s Steve Nallon, opened at the Buxton Opera House, where it runs until January 3.

The Times once described Steve Nallon’s iconic portrayal of Margaret Thatcher as the “industry standard” impersonation of the Iron Lady.

Now Steve Nallon has swapped the blue suit and the handbag for a gingham pinafore and a witty line in audience banter.

For the first time in his long career, he will appear as a traditional pantomime dame in Buxton Opera

House’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk, which runs until the 3rd January.

The decision to take on this traditional role stems from an interest in female impersonators such as Arthur Lucan (who performed as Old Mother Riley, from the 1930s to the 1950s) and Nallon recently earned rave reviews playing Roy Barraclough in a UK tour of Cissie and Ada, a play about the famous female double act portrayed on TV by Barraclough and Les Dawson.

Born in Leeds, Steve Nallon has never been afraid of a challenge.

At the age of 16 he developed a successful comedy act.

He then studied English and Drama at the University of Birmingham and went on to perform in regional repertory theatres.

In 1984 his life changed when he became a founder member of the Spitting Image team.

Tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk are available from Buxton Opera House on 0845 127 2190 or book online at buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.