WITH his whitened teeth and signature Essex tan, James Argent – better known to millions as ‘Arg’ – looked the part as he helped to launch this year’s pantomime at the Kings Theatre.
The star of hit TV show The Only Way Is Essex was looking dapper in full costume as he walked down Albert Road, Southsea with a procession of cast members to mark the start of preparations for Cinderella.
James, who will be playing Dandini, travelled to Portsmouth after filming to attend the event, which is the first time the cast members meet each other.
He said: ‘While I am so busy with The Only Way Is Essex, Christmas is always a bit quieter so it’s a great opportunity to do something like this. I can’t believe how big the theatre actually is. I can’t wait to get out on the stage and entertain the people of Portsmouth.’
Leading the way in the procession was Emily Trebicki, who will play Cinderella. She was sat in a pumpkin coach pulled along by Shetland ponies, followed by a convoy of vintage cars.
Sat in an open-top vehicle was Anita Harris, singer and star of the Carry On film franchise, who cut an imperious figure in a floor-length black dress. She will be playing the wicked stepmother Baroness Hardup, a role she performed last year in York. Anita is looking forward to bringing her to life at the Kings.
‘There is a great weight in the character, which gives you something to grip onto, but she isn’t going to be evil – she will be naughty and chivvy up the little ones a bit,’ she said.
‘Pantomime is part of the British way of life, it is wonderful for families and I can’t wait to perform in this beautiful theatre.’
Following his success in Mack and Mabel at Chichester Festival Theatre, Portsmouth-based actor Jack Edwards will be playing one of the ugly sisters opposite Phil Randall, and Christopher Marlowe will play Baron Hardup.