Christmas? Here's how the Forum panto stars celebrate it

From a quiet day in front of the box to festive games and stacks of fun - stage stars have revealed how they plan to spend the '˜big day'.

Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 5:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 6:10 pm
Prince Charming (Ben-Ryan Davies) puts the slips onto the foot of Cinderella (Lola Saunders) Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Stars of the Forum Theatre production of Cinderella will be getting a well-deserved 24 hours off on Christmas Day.

They told the Hartlepool Mail how they planned to spend it.

Dandini (Kurtis Stacey) In Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

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Local favourite Lola Saunders, who plays a superb Cinders, is “only 25 minutes down the road” from home in East Boldon and will be going home for Christmas.

She has December 25 all sorted in advance. She admits to getting up “dead early”, sitting in front of her presents and “admirirng them” and then spending the day with friends and family playing festive games.

Ben-Ryan Davies has been a Forum hit in his role as Prince Charming but he’s looking forward to a day out of the limelight.

“I will be going home to my girlfriend and doing Christmas dinner with her parents, and meet my mam and dad.”

Wicked Stepmother (Paul Burnham) In Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

He finishes the panto show on Christmas Eve before driving to Rochdale. But it will be a dry festive time and he’s the designated driver for the day - and like all the other Cinderella stars, he’s back at work the next day.

Former Emmerdale star Kurtis Stacey is loving his role as Dandini at the Forum, but he said: “I’ll be going home for a nice roast dinner.”

For the first time in a while, he’ll get to see all his family after years of being governed by panto schedules, but this year it is home to Liverpool - and then an early start on the roads on Boxing Day to get back to Billingham for the December 26 show.

Paul Burnham, who stars as the dame Baroness Hardup, said: “Last Christmas was in Spain and it is not usually with my family.

Dandini (Kurtis Stacey) In Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

“This year, it will be just me and the other half and we will be sitting watching television, not going to anyone’s houses or buying presents.”

Cinderella runs at the Forum Theatre in Billingham until Sunday, January 7 and this year’s production is selling as well as last year’s record breaker.

To book and for more information, contact the box office on (01642) 552663 or visit www.forumtheatrebillingham.co.uk.

Wicked Stepmother (Paul Burnham) In Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID