Here come the girls! The Hartlepool and Billingham locals who are starring in panto

Victoria Holtom who is playing Tinkerbell in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID
Victoria Holtom who is playing Tinkerbell in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Girl power rules at a theatre where two talented performers are taking leading roles in pantomime.

Watch out for Victoria Holtom, from Hartlepool, as Fairy Tinkerbell in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre in Billingham.

Mollie Shellard who is playing Wendy in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Mollie Shellard who is playing Wendy in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

And joining her in the cast is fellow Teessider Mollie Shellard in her first ever professional pantomime, where she plays Wendy.

Mollie is well known in the area as she teaches at the Forum Theatre School.

And while Molie is making her debut, Victoria is no stranger to the Forum and this is her fifth appearance.

But it gets more special each year as her son Oliver is three now and fast learning what panto is all about.

My little boy has got the Peter Pan costume ready at home, and he loves the sword fighting. He can’t wait to see Captain Hook and all the pirates. I am excited and hopefully, this will be the best yet.

Victoria Holtom

“He has got the Peter Pan costume ready at home, and he loves the sword fighting,” said Victoria from the Fens area of town. “He can’t wait to see Captain Hook and all the pirates.

“I am excited and hopefully, this will be the best yet. I have never played in Peter Pan before.”

She praised the Forum panto as something special and said: “People come year after year and I did it when I was a little girl.”

Mollie, meanwhile, is fresh out of Teesside University where she graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Performing Arts - and has already landed a huge role.

Victoria Holtom who is playing Tinkerbell in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Victoria Holtom who is playing Tinkerbell in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

She’ll be playing Wendy in front of capacity crowds each night and said: “I am excited and a little bit nervous. All my dance students are coming to see me in little groups and then all in one night. They are all just so supportive.”

She described the role of Wendy as “such an iconic storyline. It is so magical and this is the perfect panto for this time of year.”

There’s a great line-up for this year’s show including former Emmerdale star Kurtis Stacey, who played Alex Moss in the soap. He’s back for a third season at Billingham and will be playing Captain Hook.

The main role of Peter Pan is taken by Ben-Ryan Davies of Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road fame.

Wendy (Mollie Shellard) with her dog (Julian Riley) in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Wendy (Mollie Shellard) with her dog (Julian Riley) in Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Funnymen, the Harper Brothers, are back as Starkey and Pegleg and another annual Forum favourite Barnaby plays Smee.

Charlie stars as the Panto Dame Able Mable. And there will be the usual fabulous support from the Forum Theatre School members and dancers from Mirage Productions.

Tickets are already being snapped up for Peter Pan.

To book and for more information, people can contact (01642) 552663 or visit www.forumtheatrebillingham.co.uk