Meet the brothers who are among the best ugly sisters in Britain!

Two brothers were just pipped to a national award - for the best Ugly Sisters!

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26 December, 2018, 08:00
Ugly sisters Rob (left) and Darren Harper In Cinderella, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

Panto stars Rob and Darren Harper have wowed the audience at the Forum Theatre in Billingham for years.

They were superb as the Ugly Sisters in last year’s production of Cinderella.

And their displays were so good, it won them a place on the shortlist of a category in the Great British Pantomime Awards.

They were up against stars from Yeovil, Bradford Alhambra, Milton keynes and the Grand Theatre Blackpool for their performance in Cinders.

Darren told the Mail: “We were there and they were reading out all these names. Then it was us and we were cheering for Billingham!”

The brothers missed out on the trophy but the shortlisting was just reward for their brilliant hard work in keeping 35,000-plus theatre goers entertained last panto season.

Cast members from Peter Pan on stage at the Forum Theatre. Picture by FRANK REID

So was another honour. They were in a top 20 list of Rising Talent in the comedy world last year.

Now they are back at the Forum again and this time, they are playing Starkey and Pegleg in the production of Peter Pan. It is their 14th year in pantomime and their fifth at the Forum.

They adore the theatre and Rob said: “We love the people round here. We love the theatre and we love the people who run it.

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“There are so many people who come to see the show and they come up to us and talk about it.”

Darren added: “I was in Greggs in Billingham and the woman serving me said ‘I know it’s panto season when you come in!’

The duo have worked with the likes of Peter Kay, Freddie Starr, Tony Christie and Joe Longthorne down the years.

They’ve done cruises to holiday park shows but now they are back in the Tees Valley to entertain local audiences once more.

They described their role in Peter Pan as “a lot of laughs and a lot of stupidness.”

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, and another annual Forum favourite Barnaby plays Smee.

There’s a double dose of local stars to look forward to with Hartlepool actor Victoria Holtom playing Fairy Tinkerbell and Mollie Shellard, a teacher at the Forum’s own Theatre School, starring as Wendy in her first professional pantomime role.

Another newcomer is Charlie Legg, who 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