Lottery Win for Courtyard Panto Dame, Dion Davies
The Streets Really Have Been Paved With Gold For Panto Star After National Lottery Win
EuroMillions winning actor takes the stage as dame in Dick Whittington panto after whirlwind year
There ain’t nothing like a dame. Oh yes there is…when a National Lottery winner appears on stage in his first panto production since winning.
Dion Davies from Ceredigion, won £55,086 on the EuroMillions draw on 20 December 2022 while playing the dame at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven. And one year on, the Welsh actor is appearing in our panto here at The Courtyard!
Dion (47) who has appeared in the BBC’s ‘Torchwood’ and Sky’s ‘Stella’ found his winning ticket one month later when he needed his car valeted. And with a clean car and a healthy bank balance, his journey since has been paved with gold, including trips to the Rugby World Cup and a sellout play which he co-produced.
As with all panto stars, Christmas is a busy time and this year Dion is appearing here at The Courtyard Hereford after 15 years of appearing in Milford Haven. Once again playing the dame, but this time in Dick Whittington.
Dion said, “The director at the Torch Theatre retired so I thought it was time for a change and since the win I have had more confidence to try new things. I’d seen the panto in Hereford a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it, so when a friend who had played there before said there was a vacancy I applied straight away. I love panto and playing the dame is wondrous. Panto is intergenerational. The kids love the silliness and adults love the double-entendres – you can really connect with the audience. It’s a happy place for all.”
Christmas has always been a very busy time for Dion in the last 15 years. He said, “I’ve been in panto for many years. It’s sometimes hard to just get Christmas Day off but that’s the job, simple as. And it’s extra special when I see my family after the Christmas Eve show and spend quality time with them on the 25th. This year the family are coming to Hereford and we are staying in a nice hotel, all because of my EuroMillions win.”
Since winning last year, Dion has been busy. Just before he found out about his win, Dion was in final rehearsals for a play he co-produced and starred in. ‘The Bet’, which was a sell out at The Chapter Theatre in Cardiff is a story about a man who didn’t put a bet on a 100-1 outsider Welsh horse called ‘Norton’s Coin’ winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup – but it did. Dion said, “The play was a huge success and I’m in talks with a few people about it going on tour over the coming years.”
Dion also watched Wales play in the Rugby World Cup in France and saw the Dragons beat Australia in a thrilling match. He also appeared at The National Theatre Wales.
“Winning has allowed me to relax a little. Actors are always hunting for the next job and it can be tiring. I was able to chill in between jobs, enjoy the work, and the win, and I just love being here in Hereford at a new theatre with a great cast.”
Panto Director Estelle van Warmelo, who won Best Panto Director 2023, said, “Dion is a hard worker, an experienced actor and has breathed new life into dame. The whole cast is brilliant and the reviews have been fantastic.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, £30M is generated each week for Good Causes right across the UK such as The Courtyard in Hereford. This money helps fund projects across the nation, with over 670,000 grants – supporting projects both big and small – having been made across the UK to date and over £47BN having been raised for Good Causes.