Katie Price chats to Will Gore ahead of her appearance in the magical panto, Sleeping Beauty at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking.
The New Victoria Theatre’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, will feature an extra special baddie this year, as one of the UK’s most recognisable celebrities, Katie Price, takes to the stage as the Wicked Fairy.
It’s fair to say Katie is taking a leap into the unknown by having a go at acting. With only one previous panto appearance to her name (a walk on part in Robinson Crusoe when she was just 17), taking on a starring role at Woking represents a huge challenge for someone more used to being herself in reality TV shows.
“This is so different to when I did panto before, playing a main character and a baddie, but it’s nice to push my boundaries,” Katie explains. And, having had a good look around the theatre not long before the start of rehearsals, she also admits to a few nerves: “I just want to make sure I remember my lines, at least. If I do forget them because it’s pantomime so I should be able to get away with it and the other actors have said they’ll help me, too.”
Audiences will surely be keen to see how Katie gets on with acting and also hear how her singing is coming along, even if she won’t reveal the solo she’ll be performing. “Wait and see,” she says, with a smile, “if you want to hear it, you’ll have to come and watch.”
And there will certainly be a dedicated Katie Price fan club at the New Victoria Theatre to watch her on opening night, made up of her five kids who are all looking forward to seeing their mum take to the stage. “It all fits really well because the theatre is just up the road from where we live,” says Katie. “My mum normally takes them to pantomime every year so it will be nice for them to come and see me in one. I haven’t gone on about it to them too much, but they can’t wait to watch and see me in my costume.”
Following up last year’s spectacular version of Aladdin, this year’s festive treat at the New Victoria Theatre will feature, alongside Katie, CBeebies favourite Mr Bloom, aka Ben Faulks as the Prince, South African stand-up Alan Committie providing the comic relief as Chester the Jester and Carla Nella as the beautiful Sleeping Beauty.
Katie will be appearing in Sleeping Beauty from 11 -27 December, with panto pro, not to mention EastEnders legend, Anita Dobson taking over Wicked Fairy duties from 28 December through to the end of the run on 10 January. And just like Katie, Anita can’t wait to get started. “Pantomime is a great love of mine. Being on stage surrounded by sparkly scenery and costumes, working with a fantastic company and hearing the children in the audience having such a great time gives me such a buzz” she says.
Playing the no-nonsense pub landlady Angie Watts in EastEnders during the 80s was good grounding for a pantomime villain and Anita still relishes playing the bad girl. “I love the Wicked Fairy, a role I’ve played many times before and I can’t wait to get that costume back on and start being bad again,” she adds, “I’ll have all of those children booing and hissing in no time.’
For her part, Katie says she will take the boo’s in her stride. With those five children to look after when she’s at home, a rowdy panto audience holds absolutely no fear. “Trust me, being on stage will be a breeze compared to what it’s like being at home with the kids,” she says. “Everyone’s says to me, ‘You do know it’s hard work with two shows a day?’, but it’s going to be like a break for me. It’s going to be a laugh!”
Katie Price will be starring as Malevolence on performances from Fri 11 – Sun 27 Dec 2015
Anita Dobson will be starring as Malevolence on performances from Mon 28 Dec 2015 – Sun 10 Jan 2016.
Sleeping Beauty, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Friday 11 December 2015 – Saturday 10 January 10 2016,