Stars of the screen have told why they love playing panto in the Tees Valley.
Danny Walters and Kurtis Stacey are familiar faces to fans of well-known shows.
Danny has been a star on Benidorm since series six while Kurtis’s character of Alex Moss was killed off in Emmerdale on Christmas Day four years ago.
Buy now, they’re both pulling in packed audiences as part of the Forum Theatre production of Jack and the Beanstalk in Billingham.
They took time out of rehearsals to speak to the Hartlepool Mail.
Kurtis features as Fleshcreep, the henchman to the giant.
The baddie role is a lot more fun and a lot more interactive with the audienceKurtis Stacey
It’s a first venture into the world of the baddie for the former Emmerdale star who has many impressive strings to his bow.
He’s done stuntwork for Bear Grylls, shot two feature films, produced another, and starred in plays. He has also made a name for himself in the fitness world and raises money for charity through fitness challenges.
But now he’s in Billingham for his first ever casting as a panto villain.
“You get to put on the full works this time - the make-up and the costume is more extravagant.”
It is his eighth panto and he has usually played the hero in the past.“The baddie role is a lot more fun and a lot more interactive with the audience.”
It’s also his second time at the Forum and said: “I love it here. When they asked me, I was all for it.
Danny plays the lead role of Jack and described his character as “quite a dopey, down to earth chap, a loveable character.”
Jack and his brother still live at home with their mum (Dame Polly Pott) and “they’ve got it cushty,” said Danny.
Danny, who plays Tiger Dyke in Benidorm, loves playing in pantomime. He said: “It’s the boos and the screams, the cheers and the laughter.”
And he is no stranger to the role of Jack as his first ever panto role was as the same character when he appeared in Northampton.
“I love the character. he is so much fun,” said Danny.
But what has impressed him about his first panto in the region is the warmth of the people in the area.
“I have travelled the world but never come to this area. Everyone is so friendly.”
Danny has recently finished filming series nine of Benidorm which will air on television early in 2017.
The two are part of a great production along with Lola Saunders from South Tyneside, Hartlepool actress Victoria Holtom, Craig Ansell, the Harper Brothers, Charlie Cairoli, Barnaby and Tony Bayliss.
The Forum Theatre productionruns until Sunday, January 8. Tickets are from £16.
To book, go to www.forumtheatrebillingham.co.uk or call the box office on (01642) 552663.