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Groundlings Theatre casts former Hollyoaks and Celebrity Love Island star as the Mad Hatter in their forthcoming production Wonderland

Published: 19th May 2021 17:01
Like many theatres across the country, Groundlings Theatre is excitedly getting ready to welcome back audiences after six months of empty seats.

 With their sold-out Christmas production stopped mid production, due to Covid restriction changes, Groundlings Theatre are re-opening with a new show in the shape of an ‘almost sequel' to Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland. The show, entitled 'Wonderland', sees Alice, now at university, return to to save the place that is so very special to her.

Groundlings Theatre are proud to announce that a well-known face will be taking on the role of the fantastical Mad Hatter, Paul Danan, who starred as lead character Sol for four years in Hollyoaks and then went onto find further fame with stints in Celebrity Love Island and Celebrity Big Brother.

Paul trained at Italia Conti and despite his dalliance with reality television is a seasoned stage actor, having most recently performed last December alongside David Schaal, who is best known as Jay's dad in the Inbetweeners.

Joining the Hollyoaks star is Abigail Hancock as Alice, Daniel McCrohon who, after his acclaimed turn as Jacob Marley in Groundling's pandemic hit production of A Christmas Carol, returns as the Rabbit. Completing the cast is Stephanie Dickson as the Caterpillar and the March Hare, and Suzanne Ball as the Queen of Hearts. Members of Groundlings Theatre drama school fill the ensemble roles in what will be a rambunctious production full of laughs and a perfect show to welcome patrons back to the theatre.

Groundlings Theatre production coordinator, Amy Harrison commented,

"Despite the forced early closure, A Christmas Carol was a great achievement for us. Groundlings Theatre is under new management with a registered charity now in charge and we will be cementing our place as key to the cultural and community offering in Portsmouth.

"We are especially pleased to be welcoming Paul Danan in what we hope will be long lasting
relationship. After a fantastic audition are excited to see what he brings to this production. We are sure 'Wonderland' will mark a wonderful start to summer!"

 The production will feature a core cast of professional actors and an ensemble of local amateur actors looking to get first-hand experience of a professional production. It forms part of Groundlings Theatre ‘opportunities programme' that seeks to support and encourage people furthering their careers.

‘Wonderland' takes place from 24th June to 4th July and will feature socially distanced seating along with a Covid compliant customer experience that means guests will be able to appreciate the best parts of a trip to theatre but in a safe environment.


Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at or via the phone on 02392 737370.

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