From Coronation Street to Cinderella: Kevin Kennedy Stars in County Durham Panto
Empire panto 1 - Kevin Kennedy

A Coronation Street icon will leave the famous cobbles behind to tread the boards, joining the cast of a County Durham pantomime this year.

Best known for his portrayal of Curly Watts in the popular ITV soap from 1983 to 2003, Kevin Kennedy will make his Empire Consett debut as His Royal Highness, King Curlington in Cinderella. 

The spellbinding production, by writer and director Leah Bell, follows last year’s record-breaking pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, which was enjoyed by more than 16,000 people at the Durham County Council venue. 

No stranger to the stage, Kevin has worked in the West End and in national tours of musicals such as Rock of Ages, The Rocky Horror Show and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

He has also continued to work in television and has enjoyed a successful music career which started as the bass player alongside The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke in the band Paris Valentinos.

Kevin will be joined on stage by a fabulous team of returning singers and actors, including Crissy Rock, who made her Empire Consett pantomime debut last year. The Benidorm star will play Patti Pumpkin, the cook who cannot cook.

Empire favourite Leah, meanwhile, will star as the Fairy Godmother, the woman with all the magical powers.

Empire panto- Leah Bell

Packed full of adventure, fun, dazzling costumes, hit songs, audience participation and colourful characters, theatre-goers will have a ball at this captivating retelling of the most magical fairytale of them all.

 “We are thrilled Kevin Kennedy is joining the cast of Cinderella at Empire Consett later this year.

“Kevin is soap royalty, and I’m sure he will delight audiences as King Curlington, supported by an amazing cast and crew.

“The Empire panto is a much-loved tradition for many families, with last year’s record-breaking production attracting thousands of people into Consett. Leah and the team are pulling out all the stops to make this year’s production one of the most magical to date, and so I would encourage people to book their tickets now to avoid missing out.”

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships

Empire Consett is due to reopen with an action-packed programme later this year, following a temporary closure to allow for essential maintenance works. 

Cinderella will run from Friday 29 November to Tuesday 31 December, including a relaxed performance on Friday 27 December at 11am, and British Sign Language interpreted performance on Saturday 28 December at 3pm.

Tickets are priced from £10. To book, contact 03000 262 400 or visit

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