NOEL Sullivan will be keeping it ‘pure and simple’ when he takes the lead in this year’s pantomime at Ferneham Hall in Fareham.
The popstar and actor, who was part of chart-toppers Hear’Say, will be playing Prince Valiant in Sleeping Beauty.
And it marks only the second time Noel has done a panto since playing Aladdin about a decade ago – he has been busy in musical theatre, including most recently in the West End hit, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
He said: ‘I can’t wait. It’s so much fun – you get to bend the rules of theatre and I’ve done so much theatre now, it’s great when you get to do that.
‘It’s probably a lot of children’s first experience of theatre, and that’s what I love about it. Everyone remembers their first pantomime – it makes theatre accessible, and they’re tales we all know and love as well.’
He is joined in the cast by children’s favourite Kay Purcell of CBBC’s Tracy Beaker Returns and So Awkward as the wicked Carabosse.
‘I love playing the baddie – you get the best response from the audience. The more bad you are, the more you get back from them.
‘It’s great, and unique. When you try to explain it to someone from another country, they go “men dressed as women, women dressed as men?”.
‘It messes with all kinds of things, but it’s so much fun.’
Mark Siney also returns to Ferneham as Nurse Nellie and Carol Heffernan plays Belle.
David Dobson plays Chester the Jester, and he said: ‘This is my first time in Fareham, but this is the third time I will have worked with Mark, who’s playing my mother in this – and he has always spoken so highly of this place and the audiences you get here and said everyone is so lovely and friendly. I’m really looking forward to it.’
Other notable roles for Noel include Galileo in the 10th anniversary production of We Will Rock You, Drew in Rock of Ages and Tick/Mitzi in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on their UK tours.
The pantomime runs from December 9 to 31. Tickets cost from £14 to £19 depending on time and date.
Go to fernehamhall.co.uk or call the box office on 01329 231942, Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm.