THE Kings Theatre has revealed a star-studded line-up for its upcoming pantomime of Snow White this Christmas.
The historic Albert Road venue has announced former Emmerdale favourite Lisa Riley will take the role of Queen Malevola from December 12 until January 6, 2013.
Gosport-born Marcus Patrick, who won rave reviews for his appearance in Cinderella last Christmas, will return as the Huntsman.
Further confirmed actors include Rob McVeigh from Any Dream Will Do, who will star as Prince Valentine, and Jen Pringle, from Channel 5’s Milkshake, who is set to shine as Fairy Sparkle.
Former Hollyoaks star Marcus said he is looking forward to returning to his roots to perform in Southsea again.
He said: ‘I’m really looking forward to it because it’s my hometown.
‘I was born in Gosport and raised in the Portsmouth and Fareham area.
‘I got an amazing chance to be in last year’s panto and I enjoyed it, and they have asked me to come back again.
‘It went so well last year and there were record ticket sales – it was a pleasure to be from the area and be on stage in front of your home crowd.’
Marcus has just finished a nationwide tour of the Wildboys stage show and is preparing for the lead role in Billy Liar later this year.
He added: ‘Wildboys was a gruelling tour as it was a different venue every night and we were on the road for four weeks.
‘Panto is hard work but you are staying in digs near the theatre rather than travelling around.
‘Last year was lovely, especially during my first time of doing something like it. It was a strong cast performance-wise and once you get into that rehearsal room everyone gets to know each other.’
Jen will be spending Christmas in the south for the first time this year to appear in the show.
She said: ‘I cannot wait. ‘I have never been to the Kings Theatre but I have heard about it and I’m really excited to be a part of this show. I’m excited to meet everyone.
‘I worked with Lisa Riley in York and she is lovely.’
Also appearing will be Karen Anderson and Max Laird, stars of the Channel 4 documentary Seven Dwarves.
Sandra Smith, head of promotions at the theatre, said: ‘It is going to be a traditional, fun-filled family pantomime.
‘We get a lot of families coming here, and people who came here when they were young who are now bringing their children or grandchildren.
‘It is a traditional theatre with an old-fashioned atmosphere.
‘The minute the music starts, you don’t just see young children enjoying it, you see grandads and grandmas start cheering – it’s wonderful to watch.
‘With the Olympics finishing, people are going to be looking for their next source of escapism and pantomime is that.’