Panto in the Park

The sun was shining as children and their parents, strolling pensioners and people walking their dogs enjoyed a late August walk in Stanley Park. There was a whiff of Christmas in the air and everyone was smiling.

Woah! Rewind that previous sentence. No, I haven’t been at the cooking sherry – there really was a whiff of Christmas in the air at the Stanley Park bandstand this week, as the Grand Theatre hosted its annual Panto in the Park launch. Unlike last year, the weather gods smiled on the organisers – and the sun certainly brought out the crowds, who clapped and cheered as the stars of this years panto, Peter Pan, were brought onto the stage.

First up was Jordan Lee Davies, who was clad all in green from head to toe. He is best known from his appearances as a member of Will I Am’s team on The Voice. It’s Jordan’s first pantomime and he can’t wait to get started: “When they offered me Peter Pan I just couldn’t refuse. I love the story and it is fantastic that I’ll make my panto debut in Blackpool,” he said.

Tom Lister, who played  Carl King in Emmerdale, seems to be making a habit of playing baddies. He will appear as Captain Hook – and the children flocked around him as he appeared in full costume, complete with hook. It’s his second year in Peter Pan, but Blackpool holds a special place in his heart: “I love Blackpool and used to come here on holiday when I was a kid. I love the Tower and the Pleasure Beach and I know we’re going to have a great time at the Grand.”

Steve Royle is no stranger to Grand panto-goers – this year will be his eleventh at the historic theatre. And he is counting down the days: “Panto time is my favourite time of year,” he said. “And it is such an honour to be on the stage that stars like Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel also appeared on. Smee is a great role, almost a double act with Captain Hook.  Tom and I are going to have a blast.”

Last but not least is Hayley Kay from Radio Wave, who is back in the Grand panto for her second year running. Dressed all in orange, she cut a distinctive dash in her Mrs Darling costume: “I love being local – everyone knows me and will stop and chat to me if I’m in Morrisons,” she said. “And I love The Grand, it is such a wonderful theatre. I can’t wait for rehearsals to start!”

Peter Pan runs from December 6 to January 5. For details of performances and ticket prices, visit the website or call the Box Office on 01253 743346.

  • Show Comments (1)

  • Daisy

    was a fun day

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