It's panto time again - oh yes it is!

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 September 2012

X-Factor finalists Same Difference  as the Lilac Fairy and Prince Valiant.

X-Factor finalists Same Difference as the Lilac Fairy and Prince Valiant.

Archant

IT MAY only be September, but this year's panto stars are already treading the boards at The Playhouse in Weston.

The timeless classic Sleeping Beauty is this year’s pantomime at the High Street theatre and its stars have already been getting into character ahead of rehearsals.

This year, former Emmerdale star Lorraine Chase will gleefully take on the role of Carabosse, the wicked fairy godmother, while X-Factor finalists Same Difference will also feature as the Lilac Fairy and Prince Charming.

Also returning for this year’s extravaganza are father and son duo Simmons and Simmons, who performed in last year’s production of Aladdin, while Terry Gleed and Adam Daye will also return as Muddles and Nurse Katie Cough-Drop respectively.

This year’s panto will run from December 13 to January 6.

Panto veteran Chase will step into the shoes of the wicked fairy Carabosse having honed her on-stage skills with a series of appearances in pantomime favourites throughout her career.

The 61-year-old Londoner said: “I’ve done them all, I’ve done panto for 30 years.

“I’m really looking forward to it, the rest of the cast are very nice and [director] Paul Holman is fantastic.”

Having first made her name in Campari’s highly successful advertising campaign in the 1970s, she has also appeared on television shows such as The Other Arf, Wurzel Gummidge and The Bill while racking up dozens of on-stage appearances in the West End and theatres across the country.

A first-time visitor to Weston, she said she was looking forward to sinking her teeth into the role of the wicked fairy, adding: “When I go to the panto I know what I want to see – it’s got to be magical.

“I think the kids like ‘wicked’ characters like Carabosse. It’s no good being half-hearted with the role, so I’m sure it will be fun.”

Same Difference – aka brother and sister Sean and Sarah Smith – made their name in 2008’s X-Factor when they finished third out of 250,000 applicants.

Having released two studio albums and worked with some of pop’s biggest names, the duo have made the step into theatre and panto, appearing as the Lilac Fairy and Prince Valiant in a production of Sleeping Beauty in Hertfordshire earlier this year.

Sarah said: “We’re both really excited about the production.”

And Sean added: “Panto makes Christmas for us – when we were growing up we would go along to the panto and that would make Christmas special for us.”

And the siblings can be assured of seeing at least two familiar faces in the audience this winter – their aunt and uncle Paula and Larry Smith run Berrow News in Berrow.

Tickets, priced £13.50-18.50, are available from the theatre box office on 01934 645544 or www.theplayhouse.co.uk

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