Claire dusts off her wings for panto
SOUTHPORT radio DJ Claire Simmo returns to panto this winter as the Fairy in the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Claire is an experienced panto performer and has made the role of the fairy her own in recent years.
She said: “I have a feeling I’ve become typecast – although thankfully as a fairy and not an Ugly Sister!
The Epstein has put together a star-studded cast for the show, with Kim Woodburn and Derek Acorah joining her on stage.
Claire said: “I’m actually looking forward to working with the whole cast – I have worked with Michael Chapman, who plays the Dame, Lewis Pryor and Mia Molloy before at The Epstein and they are not only amazingly talented but also lovely people to be around.
“I can’t wait to work with Kim Woodburn as well – despite recent press I have met her now on a couple of occasions and she is nothing short of delightful with a very kind heart.”
She added that there were a couple of rising stars to look out for this year: “Definitely Lewis Pryor and Mia Molloy, I’ve worked with Lewis three times now and watched him grow in confidence and steal many a show.
“Mia is just gorgeous and recently stood in for the main role of ‘Mam I’m Ere’ with minutes notice at the Royal Court – she’s unbelievable.”
Rehearsals start at the end of the month, meaning there is only a week to fine tune the performance – but there is a reason for that.
“We don’t start rehearsing until November 29, so we have a week’s rehearsal.
“Lee Kelly (producer) always does this as it gives us enough time to learn everything but also keep things really fresh for the audience.”
Claire said that panto was an escape from reality for both performers and audience alike.
“I always look forward to panto – its like entering a bubble that you don’t leave for six weeks, almost like everything else in the outside world isn’t happening and your job is to make every show magical for every person that enters the theatre.
“Plus I actually convince myself I’m a fairy and shower the whole place with glitter and fairy dust.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work, especially with the breakfast show and then three show days, but it’s so much fun when working with this cast.
“If you want to be transported away from the outside world for a couple of hours and be transported to a world of magic, laughs – both for the adults and the kids and a whole lot of fun in an intimate theatre where you almost feel part of the show, then don’t miss this at The Epstein.”
Claire, third from left, and the rest of the cast, above, and at a launch event, right
The cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in action