Soap baddie to star in festive family show

Knees Up! hosts The Fabulous Josh and Welsh Aunty BopaRhys meet their public

Cabaret fun for all the family in a right old Knees Up!

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Nasty Nick has left EastEnders’ Albert Square and will be popping up at Ferneham Hall this Christmas.

Actor John Altman is starring in the theatre’s Christmas pantomime Jack and The Beanstalk as the baddie Fleshcreep, alongside Tracey Penn as Jack, Mark Siney as Dame Trott and Ben Redfern as Simple Simon.

(l-r) Tracey Penn as Jack, John Altman as Fleshcreep, Cow, Mark Siney as Dame Trott and Ben Redfern as Simple Simon at the launch of the Ferneham Hall pantomime Jack and the Bean Stalk. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (132730-366)

(l-r) Tracey Penn as Jack, John Altman as Fleshcreep, Cow, Mark Siney as Dame Trott and Ben Redfern as Simple Simon at the launch of the Ferneham Hall pantomime Jack and the Bean Stalk. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (132730-366)

The production follows last year’s Fareham festive fairytale of Cinderella.

John said: ‘I’m looking forward to it, and I’ve never been to Fareham before so I will be able to explore the area.

‘I’ve heard the Mary Rose Museum is good and I’ve never been up the Spinnaker Tower before, so may have to do that.’

John was part of EastEnders’ original cast members in 1985 as Dot Cotton’s menacing son, and most recently appeared in 2009.

Having starred in pantomime in the past, John loves to play the baddie role, as he explained: ‘You always get a great reaction from the crowd, and I think people like to see me play the bad guy. I love playing it too.

‘Pantomime is such an old tradition, but it has always moved with the times.

‘The shows are normally the first time children go to the theatre, so it’s important to them. Pantomimes are part of that classic Christmas recipe in Britain.’

Mark Siney is returning after playing one of the ugly sisters last year, and Ben Redfern is back after proving popular with last year’s audiences.

Mark says: ‘I’m very much looking forward to coming back, I had a ball last year. There’s a great team at Ferneham and it’s a traditional pantomime.

But this year’s he’s taking on the role of Jack’s mother, Dame Trott.

Mark said: ‘I have to look after Jack and make sure he doesn’t get in any trouble, which is difficult sometimes.

‘It’s a show that has something for everyone. I love entertaining people and at Christmas time it’s more important than ever.’

Dancers from The Marie Clarke School Of Dance, which is based in Portsmouth, will also play a part.

Jack and The Beanstalk runs from December 13 until January 5, 2014.

For details call 01329 231942 or go to fernehamhall.co.uk.