The actor who plays three-times Lord Mayor of London Dick Whittington met the real mayor of Barking and Dagenham to tell her about the Broadway Theatre’s Christmas panto.

Will Haswell, who stars as the character in the theatre's production, popped down to Barking to meet Donna Lumsden and to try on the robes of office.

“I haven’t played a mayor before,” he said. “So trying the robes was great research to feel how heavy the chain is. This is a complete change from the West End.”

Will is fresh from appearing as Marty McFly in the West End production of Back to the Future, and is now going back to the past to play Dick Whittington.

He arrived at Barking Town Hall with creative director Ian Knowles, who came up with the idea of the pantomime at the Broadway. Cllr Lumsden plans to see the panto with her three foster sons.

Ian said: “Madame Mayor watching Dick Whittington on stage will see if Will pulls off the role convincingly.”

Dick Whittington opens on December 7 and runs until New Year’s Eve. Tickets from £18 are available from the box office on 020 8507 5607, email or online at website.