The Crown stars Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter are to star in a socially distanced, virtual staging of pantomime classic Cinderella for BBC Two, with Richard Curtis executive producing.

The stars will perform from the safety of their homes for the Comic Relief special, which airs on Christmas Eve and will be brought to life with illustrations from iconic children’s illustrator Quentin Blake.

Colman plays the fairy godmother, while Bonham Carter features as the wicked stepmother Lady Devilia. Meanwhile, the breakout star of Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy, will play the title role.

Other cast includes The Night Manager star Tom Hollander and Guz Khan as Baron Hardup and Buttons respectively. Daisy May and Charlie Cooper, the stars and creators of This Country (which is currently being remade by Fox), have been cast as the evil step-sisters. The pair are siblings in real-life.

Written by the Dawson Brothers, and based on an original script by Ben Crocker, Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime for Christmas will be a retelling of the timeless panto classic. It is made by Crook Productions.

The executive producers for Crook Productions are Matt Crook, Richard Curtis, and Colin Hopkins. The director is Matt Lipsey. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Jo Wallace and Katie Taylor.

Curtis said: “It’ll be very funny and merry — and also a great seasonal opportunity to raise crucial funds for the projects that will help the most vulnerable people, at home and abroad — especially now when Covid has made things harder than ever for many.”

The BBC has promised other starry cameos, including an “incredibly famous person wearing an incredibly unconvincing horse costume.”

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