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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Snow White cast gather for Carlisle panto

Panto season is just around the corner. And Carlisle has had its first glimpse of Snow White and her seven dwarfs.

Carlisle panto photo
Maureen Nolan as the Wicked Queen with Snow White, played by Kayleigh MacRae

The cast gathered at the Sands Centre for a photo call ahead of the December run.

Snow White is played by 25-year-old Kayleigh MacRae from Cotehill. This is her first role. Kayleigh studied musical theatre and currently works at Pizza Hut on London Road.

“I got a call the day after the audition,” she said. “I was sitting in my car outside work. I couldn’t drive for about half an hour – I was shaking so much.

“My friends and family are so happy for me. Pizza Hut are quite happy to give me the time off. I’m excited and really nervous.”

Snow White’s enemy, the Wicked Queen, is played by Maureen Nolan. “I’ve done at least 20 pantos before. I was a baddie for the first time last year. I didn’t know if I’d like being booed but I couldn’t get enough of it,” she said.

“Because of the image the Nolans have got, it’s fun to do something different. There’s obviously a bad side in me desperate to get out.”

This will be CFM DJ Robbie Dee’s 11th year in the Sands panto. He’s playing Muddles the jester.

“Panto is a British institution,” he said. “The audience participation is second to none. I’m quite well known for going off the script quite often. You really have to think on your feet.”

Grumpy is played by 22-year-old Josh Bennett. He starred in Channel 4 documentary Seven Dwarves, which followed the lives of seven dwarves during a production of Snow White.

“Panto is the best time of the year. You meet new people and have a laugh. I’ve played Grumpy a few times. I feel I can just be myself. People say I can be grumpy but everyone can be.”

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs runs from December 13-31. For booking information contact the Sands Centre box office on 01228 633766.

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