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‘CINDERELLA PICKS HER OWN PUMPKIN’ at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre

The Orchard Theatre’s very own Cinderella, Ellie Jane Grant, took to the local fields of Stanhill Farm in Wilmington to find the perfect pumpkin. But rather than carve her pumpkin for Halloween, Cinderella hopes that her fairy godmother will transform it into the glittering
coach that will take her to Prince Charming’s ball. While there, local children were delighted to see the Princess don her wellies and search around in the patch with them for the plumpest pumpkin they could find. Ellie Jane Grant is a recent graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology and is currently the UK tour of South Pacific which marks her professional debut. She joins the cast of Cinderella this Christmas as the title role.

Q&A with Cast member Ellie Jane Grant (Cinderella)

You recently made your professional debut in the UK tour of South Pacific. How was
that experience?
Amazing. Coming out of drama school to that being my first job was surreal and wonderful. I’ve learned so much from the talented company and the amazing creative team. It’s been an amazing experience and just being able to tour around the UK and see such amazing theatres has been grand.

Do you have anything you always take on tour with you?
Do you know what? Coffee is a must. I love coffee. And I always have my fluffy dressing gown. So yeah, fluffy dressing gown and coffee!

What attracted you to a role in pantomime?
I was a panto babe when I was younger, and I always looked up to the leading lady or just everyone in the cast. I’d be like, wow, I would love to do that one day. And it’s always been a dream of mine to lead in a show.

What are you looking forward to the most in Panto?
With panto you get to create a family and it’s Christmas time. You bond so well with other cast members and crew for such a short amount of time. It will be so nice just getting to have a lot of laughs and fun. You don’t have to take yourself too seriously. And I love the audience participation. I’ve worked with kids in the past, performing to children and it’s something I just really enjoy.

Why do you think panto is so important to people?
I think it relates back to children, you take them on a magical journey and they love the story of Cinderella. For two hours you just sit there and have fun and you get to be taken through this story. So, yeah, I think the fun and the audience participation is why people love it!

Are you looking forward to working with other cast members, George Shelley, Bobby Davro, Regan Gascoigne and Bree Smith?
I am, yes! Especially Regan and George as this is their first role in pantomime as well, so I’ll be able to learn with them. Also working with Bree, I’m really looking forward to because she knows a few people that I’ve worked with on South Pacific, so I have that link to her. She’s also done musicals like me and trained in the same thing and you just get to know different people who have different backgrounds. You can always learn from different performers. So I’m looking forward to meeting them. And of course, I look forward to laughing at Bobby’s jokes! I think we’ll all get along really well.

Are you looking forward to coming to Dartford?

I’m looking forward to exploring the town and seeing what’s out there on my days off, I’ll definitely go on some walks and will do some Christmas shopping in Bluewater.

Do you have any plans for Halloween this year?
I’ll be in Edinburgh on tour, so the cast are planning to do a ghost tour, which will be a fun thing to do. Because we have a show that day, so I’ll be doing a show and then we’ll be doing something spooky and fun in the evening. I’ll definitely be in fancy dress. The cast will
also have a fun themed dance warm up before the show that day, dancing to Halloween songs like the monster mash!

If the Fairy Godmother could grant you one wish, what would it be?
I wish every child gets what they want for Christmas this year.

You shall go to the ball this Christmas with the spectacular family pantomime, Cinderella. Starring singing sensation, recording, radio and television star George Shelley making his pantomime debut as Prince Charming, Cinderella is a family treat not to miss! George will be joined by pantomime legend Bobby Davro as Buttons, the Dancing on Ice reigning champion

Regan Gascoigne as Dandini and newcomer Ellie Jane Grant in the title role. Completing the line-up is the newly announced Bree Smith as the Fairy Godmother. Join Cinders as she goes from rags to riches, outwits her very wicked sisters and meets her dashing Prince Charming. Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients The Orchard Theatre audiences expect, Cinderella features laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses. With over 30,000 theatregoers attending pantomime at The Orchard Theatre each festive season, it’s never too early to book for this year’s show!

Cinderella is at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Sat 10 – Sat 31 December
Book online orchardtheatre.co.uk | 0343 310 0033

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