From Hollyoaks to Lowther stage

Melissa Walton, who is to play the title role in the panto Dick Whittington at Lytham's Lowther Pavilion 2012
Melissa Walton, who is to play the title role in the panto Dick Whittington at Lytham's Lowther Pavilion 2012
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FORMER Hollyoaks actress Melissa Walton will play the title role in the pantomime production of Dick Whittington at Lowther Pavilion this Christmas.

And the cast will also include home-grown aspiring musical star Lucie-Mae Sumner as Pendle Productions aims to follow up the success over the last two years of Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella.

BBC presenter Sally Naden, playing Fairy Bow Bells, and Ian Fox, as dame Sarah The Cook, both feature in the panto cast for a third successive year, while other key roles will be played by comic Mike Carnell, Chris Grayson, who will be playing the evil King Rat and James Austin Harvey last seen as Bottom in Midsummer Nights dream at Lowther in the spring.

Dancers will be supplied by Clifton Academy and Hot Foot Dance Academy, both from St Annes, and The Dance Place, Blackpool, with choreography by Jane Gull.

This year’s show will have a specialist magic consultant in Becki Pearson, while the team is directed by Pendle Productions artistic director Tim Lince, who is also acting chairman of the Lowther Trust and currently acting manager of the theatre.

Tim said: “I wanted more sparkle that has ever been seen, celebrity performers who are more than just a face, combined with someone from the local scene who has stated to make a real name for herself in the professional business.

“It’s that combination of class and community that makes the Lowther Pavilion such a special performance venue and our audiences can expect a spectacular production.”

Melissa, 22, is best known for playing Loretta Jones in Hollyoaks for a year up to 2010.

Lucie-Mae, 23, whose family lives in St Annes and who is a former student of Lytham St Annes Technology and performing Arts College, first performed on stage at Lowther at the age of 10 as a member of the Lytham Academy of Theatre Arts and has toured recently in Sister Act.

Dick Whittington will run for 37 performances between December 10 and 30 and tickets are now on sale. Details from the box office on (01253) 794221.