TV stars to save Sleeping Beauty in Kings’ panto

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It’s that time again – oh yes it is! – as stars from TV land made their way to Southsea yesterday to launch the Kings Theatre’s festive pantomime.

EastEnders and Hollyoaks actress Danniella Westbrook stars as Fairy Sparkle in the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty, while 2012 X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney will take on the role of the Prince.

STARS Helen Kent as Sleeping Beauty. From left, Warren Hayden, Christopher Maloney, Christopher Marlowe, Danniella Westbrook, Tony Adams, with dancers Megan Atkins, Ella-Louise Bonner and Lily Patterson of the Iris Barnes school of dance. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132781-2)

STARS Helen Kent as Sleeping Beauty. From left, Warren Hayden, Christopher Maloney, Christopher Marlowe, Danniella Westbrook, Tony Adams, with dancers Megan Atkins, Ella-Louise Bonner and Lily Patterson of the Iris Barnes school of dance. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132781-2)

Danniella said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve been to Portsmouth and I’m excited to get started. It seems lovely and I’m sure it will be great at Christmas.

‘I love pantomime. It’s a family event and it’s always a lot of fun. There’s so much audience participation and it’s nice that everyone gets involved.’

Known for her role as Sam Mitchell in EastEnders, Danniella is excited to play the goodie in pantomime.

She explained: ‘It’s nice to play a good character because a lot of the time I play the baddie, just like I did in EastEnders and Hollyoaks. It’s a breath of fresh air playing Fairy Sparkle.’

And following Christopher’s time on The X Factor last year, it’s his first time in a pantomime.

He said: ‘I can’t wait to come down for the Christmas period. I don’t know Portsmouth but I have friends here who I used to work with when I was 18.

‘Now I’m in pantomime it’s just amazing. I saw Cilla Black in one when I was young and I used to take my niece to the pantomime in Liverpool.

‘It’s like a dream doing it now.’

Since appearing on the ITV talent show, Christopher’s life has been a whirlwind. But he’s relishing the chance to try his hand at acting as well as singing.

He added: ‘The past year has been manic. I’ve done so much and now my album is coming out at the end of October. It will be fun to try acting too. I’m looking forward to getting involved.’

Also appearing in the festive show is Home and Away star Lynne McGranger as the evil Queen Carabosse and Tony Adams as King Egbert The Oval.

Heart FM’s Warren Hayden plays Lord Chamberlain, Matt Dallen is the Jester and Helen Kent is Sleeping Beauty.

Dancers from the Iris Barnes School of Dance will play a supporting role during the December run.

Sleeping Beauty runs from December 9 until January 5, 2014. Call (023) 9282 8282 or go to kings-southsea.com