For the heroic NHS staff of Greater Manchester, Ambassador Theatre Group are delighted to announce that all tickets for the first evening performance of their socially distanced pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, produced by Qdos Entertainment at Manchester’s historic home of the panto, Manchester Opera House, will be gifted to NHS workers and their families.

Sleeping Beauty Poster Image

Sheena Wrigley, Theatre Director Manchester Palace & Opera House said, “We are thrilled at the prospect of working with Qdos Pantomimes and re-opening the historic Manchester Opera House with this festive family show.  It’s especially important that we can play our part in keeping one of the city’s great Christmas traditions alive after what has been an especially challenging time for communities in Greater Manchester. Our wonderful NHS staff can enter a ballot for free tickets for their families at, our way of saying a huge ‘Thank You’ for everything they’ve done this year.

The support of The National Lottery has enabled us to bring some light and joy to the people of our city and to support some of our fantastic Palace & Opera House team as they return to work on this special show.

NHS workers just need to head to and register for the ballot. Full details below.

The production is able to go ahead thanks to the support of The National Lottery, giving thousands of theatregoers in Manchester and across the country the chance to enjoy socially distanced pantomimes this Christmas. This initiative between The National Lottery and Qdos Entertainment is providing financial support for theatres to stage socially distanced live pantomimes making it viable for venues to open their doors to the general public, generating vital income for the theatre and helping to restore jobs whilst also providing much needed cheer.

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) is the global leader in live theatre, operating 50 venues across Britain, the US and Germany. They produce shows across the entertainment spectrum and are proud to have won many Olivier and Tony awards with a clear mission to bring the very best in live entertainment to the largest possible number of people.

Making his pantomime debut is Salford-born comedian Jason Manford as Muddles, alongside Blackpool’s own I’d Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger as The Enchantress, returning to Manchester Opera House for the fifth time. Joining them for the first time in Manchester after a 21-year panto stint at Bradford’s the Alhambra Theatre, is Billy Pearce as King Billy with Eric Potts as The Queen, Jenny Gaynor as Carabosse, Louis Gaunt as The Prince and Sarah Goggin as Princess Beauty.

Sleeping Beauty will run from Saturday 12 December 2020 – Sunday 3 January 2021 with a relaxed performance on Thursday 31 December. Tickets are available now and are available in a range of bubble sizes with a safe distance between each group, so customers can enjoy the festive fun, safely.

The safety of both guests and cast are of the highest priority this panto season by keeping in line with the current government guidelines, adapting to any changes the government may make.  Customers will be able to book for a bubble of up to six with each bubble being separated by a combination of empty rows or empty seats to ensure they are a safe distance from other patrons, reducing the venue’s capacity by 50%. Staggered arrival times and one way systems will be in place with sanitising stations placed around the venue and deep cleaning taking place between every performance. Instead of queuing for refreshments, guests will be encouraged to stay in their seats by the removal of the interval and the added ability to order drinks directly to their seats. Backstage will have a Covid Monitor, employed to keep the cast safe and socially distanced, implementing precautions such as choreographed stage exits and contact-free performing for the actors, with rehearsals limited to just essential cast and creatives for each scene being rehearsed.