Magic Mike Live's latest star in London's West End is Pompey Panto's Silly Billy

A STAR of the Pompey Pantos has pledged to keep his pants on as he joins the cast of the Magic Mike show in London’s West End.

Friday, 6th May 2022, 12:15 pm

James Percy, who most recently played Silly Billy in The Kings Theatre’s Jack and The Beanstalk, is joining the show based on the hit films Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, starring Channing Tatum and centred around a strip club.

Conceived and co-directed by Tatum, Magic Mike Live opened at The Theatre at the Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square in November 2018.

Portsmouth-based James has previously performed in a Las Vegas residency and theatre productions around the world.

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James Percy, in character as Silly Billy for Jack and the Beanstalk at the Kings Theatre, at the Christmas lights switch on in Commercial Road, November 2021. Picture: Mike Cooter (181121)

The 36-year-old said: ‘I’m thrilled to be joining Magic Mike Live. It’s an incredible show with an amazingly talented cast. It really is just one big party.

‘I play the part of the MC, so I'm responsible for some very adult comedy – but my clothes most definitely stay on!

‘I must admit, I wasn't familiar with the films before this, but it's a really great show with a mixture of dance, comedy, live music, aerial acts, it's really impressive and so much fun to be a part of.’

In a total change of pace, James also runs Theatretrain Portsmouth – a performing arts school for children aged four to 18 , based at Mayfield School in Copnor where he’s currently directing their production of Matilda the Musical Jr, which takes place at Park Community Theatre, Havant in July.

Magic Mike Live is at The Theatre in The Hippodrome, London. Picture by Trevor Leighton

‘Rehearsals for Matilda are going really well. The teachers and I have been blown away by the talent and professionalism of our young cast – particularly Daisy Hollins, 10, and Maisy Wallace, 12 – both from Cosham, who are sharing the title role.’

‘Magic Mike Live is definitely one for the adults though. I’m enjoying the chance to try out some material that’s strictly for the grown-ups for a change.

Magic Mike Live is an immersive theatre experience for people aged 18 and up. Audience members enter Magic Mike’s mythical club and marvel as a group of extraordinary performers perform a 360-degree dance and acrobatic spectacular in front of, behind, and above them.

Tickets for Magic Mike Live can be booked at magicmikelondon.com.

The cast of Matilda: The Musical, Jr by TheatreTrain Portsmouth. Picture by Cinnabar Studios

Tickets for Theatretrain’s production of Matilda Jr can be booked at stagestubs.com.