Claire dusts off her wings for panto

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY CHRISTY BYRNE christy.byrne@trin­i­tymir­ @ByrneChristy

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

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