Dreamboys hunk Jake Quickenden heads up The Kings Theatre pantomime, Cinderella

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CINDERELLA very nearly didn’t make it to her own own ball.

But Kaya Rose, who plays the title role in this year’s pantomime at The Kings Theatre in Southsea, made it in time for the show’s press launch

Arriving in Portsmouth by train from her native Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, she thought she would try and walk to the historic venue.But being unfamiliar with the city soon got lost.

‘I had to go back to the station and get a taxi,’ she laughs.

‘I’ve played Cinderella before, but it’s such a lovely part to play and this is a beautiful theatre, I can’t wait to get started.’

She is joined by X Factor star and Dancing on Ice 2018 champion, Jake Quickenden as her handsome Prince.

The launch of 'Cinderella' by The Kings Theatre. Left to right, Harry Howle as an 'Ugly Sister', Marcus Patrick as 'Dandini', Kaya Rose as 'Cinderella', Simon Grant as 'Buttons', Jack Edwards as 'Stepmother', Jake Quickenden as 'The Prince', Natasha Barnes as 'Fairy Godmother' and Paul Lawrence-Thomas as an 'Ugly Sister' Picture: Malcolm Wells

The launch of 'Cinderella' by The Kings Theatre. Left to right, Harry Howle as an 'Ugly Sister', Marcus Patrick as 'Dandini', Kaya Rose as 'Cinderella', Simon Grant as 'Buttons', Jack Edwards as 'Stepmother', Jake Quickenden as 'The Prince', Natasha Barnes as 'Fairy Godmother' and Paul Lawrence-Thomas as an 'Ugly Sister' Picture: Malcolm Wells

Jake was last on The Kings’ stage in June with the all-male dance troupe, Dreamboys.

Jake says: ‘Last time I was here I was taking my clothes off, so this will be very different!

‘This is only my second panto, so I’m really looking forward to it, and who doesn't want to be a prince?’

After stealing last year’s Kings panto, Snow White, as dame Sarah Spoilit, Portsmouth native and West End star Jack Edwards is back this year in the role of The Wicked Stepmother.  

Kiss for a 'Prince', left to right Harry Howle as an 'Ugly Sister', Jake Quickenden as 'The Prince' and Paul Lawrence-Thomas as the other 'Ugly Sister' Picture by:  Malcolm Wells

Kiss for a 'Prince', left to right Harry Howle as an 'Ugly Sister', Jake Quickenden as 'The Prince' and Paul Lawrence-Thomas as the other 'Ugly Sister' Picture by: Malcolm Wells

READ MORE REVIEW: Snow White, Kings Theatre, Southsea

‘I don’t take anything for granted,’ said Jack, ‘so it’s such an honour to be asked to come back.

‘And it’s always great to be doing a show on your home turf.

‘I’ve played the ugly stepsister in Cinderella before, so we wanted to mix it up a bit, which is why I’m doing the “evil” role this year, but I’ve been talking to the director and we’re going to make sure there’s plenty of comedy in the part as well.’ 

Kaya Rose as 'Cinderella' Picture: Malcolm Wells

Kaya Rose as 'Cinderella' Picture: Malcolm Wells

Former Hollyoaks star Marcus Patrick, who is originally from Gosport, returns to The Kings as Dandini, as does CBBC presenter Simon Grant, in the role of Buttons.

The principal cast is completed by rising musical theatre star Natasha Barnes – soon to appear in Wasted, a new musical based on the lives of the Brontë sisters, and Harry Howle and Paul Lawrence-Thomas as the ugly stepsisters.

Cinderella is at The Kings from December 11 to January 6. Tickets from £17 to £30 depending on time and date. Go to kingsportsmouth.co.uk or call the box office on (023) 9282 8282, 10am-6pm, Monday to Saturday.

Jake Quickenden as ' The Prince', with (left) Natasha Barnes as 'Fairy Godmother' and (right) Kaya Rose as 'Cinderella' Picture: Malcolm Wells

Jake Quickenden as ' The Prince', with (left) Natasha Barnes as 'Fairy Godmother' and (right) Kaya Rose as 'Cinderella' Picture: Malcolm Wells