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News: PANTO BABES SET FOR STARDOM ON THEATRE ROYAL STAGE
Twenty local girls aged 7 to 11 years will be making their mark and setting the blueprint for future stardom this year when they appear on the Theatre Royal stage in the blockbuster panto Dick Whittington, The Magical Pantomime Adventure.
For the last 27 years the Marron Theatre Arts stage school in Blaydon has been supplying young dancers to star as the Panto Babes in the famous Newcastle Theatre Royal panto alongside national celebrities and West End stars.The talented group of girls will between them perform in 91 shows over the course of the season, and many will go on to pursue professional careers in performing arts.
The twenty young performers selected for this year’s panto Dick Whittington will be intensively rehearsing at their Blaydon studio and the Theatre Royal every night after school right up until panto opening night on 24 November.From then on, they will split into two groups of ten, each doing two performances a day on alternate days right up until the panto ends on Sunday 17Jan ‘16.
Vicki Richardson, who runs the school, said: “Performing in the Theatre Royal panto is one of the highlights of the year for our girls – it’s a lot of hard work but they absolutely love it and always have a great time.”
The first ever performance by the Marron Babes at Newcastle Theatre Royal was in 1988, when they performed alongside three other local dance schools and TV star Les Dennis in Babes in the Wood.
Vicki added: “That show was so successful that we were chosen as the preferred dance school, and went on to make history as the Theatre Royal’s Marron Panto Babes.
“At Marron we have a proud tradition of helping budding performers from pre-school classes to the professional stage and the panto is a great springboard for them too.We have many past pupils now gracing stages throughout the world, and famous alumni include Lauren Hall who is currently starring in Gypsy in the West End, Emma Caffrey who is touring with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Charlotte Martin who is in Singing in the Rain in Cork and of course Amy Bruce, who is now a regular member of the Panto dance ensemble.”
Photo: Keith Pattison
The current Babes ensemble also features Infant Ballet Champion Freya Burdon-Watson, who at only eight years old recently took gold at the Redcar Ballet Championship.
The Babes can be seen inDick Whittington at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 24 November 2015 until Sunday 17 January 2016. Tickets are available from £12.50 (pay less online) and can be purchased at www.theatreroyal.co.uk orfrom the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (all calls are charged at 7p a minute plus your phone company’s access charge, calls from mobiles may vary, please contact your operator for details).