JON Monie, much-loved star of Bath’s pantomime, has reached an amazing milestone of 1,000 panto performances, marking the achievement on Tuesday 8th January, in his current role as the hapless Smee in Peter Pan.
This is Jon’s 17th pantomime season in Bath (his 13th consecutive year) and he has become a favourite with audiences, with his quick wit and hilarious expressions. For many local families, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a pantomime starring Jon Monie!
It all began with Cinderella in the 1996/97 season, when Jon played Dandini alongside Patsy Palmer, Derek Nimmo and Postman Pat. He has appeared at the Theatre Royal Bath in nearly every pantomime since, building a 12-year working relationship with the West Country’s late, great, “doyen of Dames”, Chris Harris.
Recent roles have included Wishee Washee in Aladdin, Buttons in Cinderella, Simple Simon in Jack and the Beanstalk, Silly Billy in Sleeping Beauty, Idle Jack in Dick Whittington and Muddles in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Jon also contributes to all UK Productions pantomime scripts and this year was commissioned to write a brand new version of Beauty and the Beast. It had its premiere at the Blackpool Grand Theatre and will be the pantomime at the Theatre Royal next Christmas (2019/20). Tickets will go on sale in February.
As well as being a familiar face on ITV West for more than a decade, Jon has worked extensively in television, including live light-entertainment for the BBC, quiz shows for Endemol, pseudo-sports programmes for Sky One, consumer and current affairs, religion, politics, lifestyle and education. Throw in a healthy amount of radio, voiceovers, corporate videos/live events, audience warm-up and emceeing too – it’s a diverse CV. The one constant is Jon’s unique brand of banter and quick-witted humour.
Jon’s career has been nothing if not varied – jungle warfare training in the rainforests of Belize, hunting UFO’s in the Arizona desert, broadcasting live from the barricades of Les Misérables in the West End, and interviewing celebrities ranging from Shirley McClaine to Miss Piggy, Gene Wilder to the Spice Girls and Dame Edna Everage to Lord Richard Attenborough.
Jon trained in drama and theatre arts at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. With sketch-comedy partner Graham Avent, as Avent and Monie, he won ITV’s This Morning Young Comedy Writer and Performer Award and BBC’s Funny in 15 Seconds competition. In 2013 their show Back for Good played to sell-out houses at the Ustinov Studio, and they hosted Great Britain’s Special Olympics summer games opening ceremony in Royal Victoria Park in front of an audience of 8,000. In 2014 they made their Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut with their new show Back to Front.
Jon leads workshops in improvisation for both enthusiastic adults and drama students, and regularly performs with Instant Wit – the South West’s premier comedy improvisation company. For more information visit www.jonmonie.co.uk