Youngsters get chance to be stars of Kettering panto

The girls' auditions for Peter Pan at the Lighthouse Theatre

The girls' auditions for Peter Pan at the Lighthouse Theatre

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Youngsters from across the region took part in auditions to star in Kettering’s Christmas pantomime.

The Lighthouse Theatre, in Thurston Drive, Kettering, held open auditions for children on Sunday, giving them a chance to play a part in Christmas panto Peter Pan.

The panto is the biggest in the theatre’s history, with Darren Day and Stephanie Dooley taking lead roles in the performance, but producers wanted local talent to play a part in the show too.

Open auditions were split into three age groups today – six-year-olds up, senior dancers from 14 up, and performers from the age of 16 up.

Dozens of families, from as far as Leicester, descended on the theatre in the hope their child might secure a part in the show.

Lucy Hatfield, marketing manager at the theatre, said: “We held open auditions last year for locals and this time we were inundated with calls and emails asking if we were going to do the same again for Peter Pan.

“The turnout has been fantastic, we’ve seen over 100 children so far today and that response proves that it was right to hold the auditions.

“For them, it’s a chance to perform alongside some big stars and learn about theatre etiquette.

“It’s important to involve the community as this is Kettering’s panto and I’m confident this year will be our best yet.”

Juvenile dancers audtions for girls from the age of six took place between 10am and 11.30am, while boys looking for a part as one of the Lost Boys got a chance to showcase their talents from midday to 1.30pm.

Auditions for senior dancers took place from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

The show’s producer, Martin Hammond, said: “The turnout has been fantastic.

“I didn’t expect there to be so many for the auditions.”

He was tasked with choosing children for the show, who will either perform or sing.

He added: “We’ve already seen some of the youngsters perform well and look the part.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them and the theatre itself is a great venue.

“I produce pantomimes across the country and this is a proper theatre, what we can produce here can be on par with the Derngate.”