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Actress granted wish to shine in pantomime magic in her home town of Newark

A love of pantomimes started as a child for actor musician Lucy Keril who will be appearing in Aladdin at the Palace Theatre, Newark, this year.

Lucy, 24, has lots of wonderful memories of going with her family to see pantomimes as a youngster.

"At the end of the show, when they pick some children to go up on the stage, it was always me who had my hand up first," she said.

"I remember at one pantomime being on stage with Mr Blobby and Lionel Blair, and telling everybody afterwards I had been on stage with Tony Blair!"

Lucy Kierl from Long Benninton (4728903)
Lucy Kierl from Long Benninton (4728903)

One of her earliest memories was watching Dick Whittington at the Palace Theatre.

"I remember the rats and being really impressed by the pyros that went off every time the fairy appeared," she said.

Lucy, who grew up in Long Bennington, used to go to Charlotte Hamilton School of Dance in Balderton where she studied tap, musical theatre and ballet.

She loved going to her lessons, and it was through the dance school that she got her first chance to go back stage at the Palace Theatre, Newark.

"It was the first time I had been back stage at a proper theatre. I still remember the excitement," she said.

Lucy returned to the Palace Theatre when she joined the Newark Amateur Operatic Society and was in the chorus of Me and My Girl.

As well as pantomimes Lucy was taken by her family to shows in the West End which triggered an ambition to be on the stage herself.

"Up to the age of 14 I had always wanted to be a vet so my family were a bit surprised," said Lucy.

This time it was an ambition that stuck. When she left school she went to Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in London where she studied actor musicianship ­— she plays the flute and the piano.

Lucy graduated with a first class BA honours degree three years ago and has been kept busy since then.

Her first role was Juliet in a production of Romeo and Juliet at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.

More Shakespeare roles have followed and she has also been cast as Abigail in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, and been in an adaptation of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons.

Her first pantomime role was as Tiger Lilly in Peter Pan which she loved. This year she has been cast as So Shi in Aladdin, a part which gives her the chance to sing and dance as well as plenty of comedy.

Her character is the friend of Princess Jasmine, played Hayley Tamaddon, probably best known for her years in Emmerdale and as a winner of Dancing on Ice. Lucy's part will also see her as best mates with Wishee Washee, played by Kevin McGreevy, who loves plenty of comedy slapstick.

The main cast of this year's pantomime with Lucy Kierl bottom left (4728905)
The main cast of this year's pantomime with Lucy Kierl bottom left (4728905)

Lucy said she is really looking forward to being in a pantomime in her home town.

"It is so nice to have the chance to be so close to home and I am really looking forward to going back to the Palace Theatre," she said.

Rehearsals start on November 26 and the cast will have two weeks to get ready before the show opens on December 7.

Lucy's nanna Jenny Flint and her dad Chris Keirl from Long Bennington will be among friends and family proudly watching in the audience.

The show, produced by Imagine Theatre, runs until December 31. Tickets are available now from the theatre box office.


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