Former Coronation Street star Nick Cochrane is back at The Deco Theatre this Christmas as one of the stars of the Peter Pan pantomime. But he is more than one of the lead characters - this year he is directing the show, too.
Nick, who played Andy McDonald in the ITV Soap Opera for eight years, is joined by singing star Lydia Lucy, Colin Ridgewell, Chris Wills and two popular local performers, Naomi Wilkins and Clive Fletcher in the show, that runs from December 8 to 30. And he says directing the show is 'natural progress', after appearing in three of the last four Deco Pantos.
"I'm really excited about it," Nick told us. "It's natural progress, I suppose, and when the producers invited me to do it, I jumped at the opportunity."
Nick is not new to directing, but this is his first Panto. And having been a massive hit with audiences in Beauty and The Beast, Snow White, and Aladdin he is now looking forward to putting his own stamp on the show.
"Great panto means a happy cast, hard work, a good script, a top team behind the scenes, and having great fun - we've got all that and more at The Deco," he said. "Marry that to fantastic audiences which we always have and you're on to a winner, and I'm really excited about Peter Panto, it's going to be great fun for all of us."
Lydia Lucy is back at The Deco for the first time since she captivated audiences in 'Beauty and the Beast' in 2015. Since then she has finished in the top three of the TV talent show 'The Voice', and spent the last 18 months performing all over the world.
"It's been a whirlwind, and I've loved every minute of it," she said. "I'll be in Northampton throughout December and to be frank, it'll be nice to have a permanent base for five weeks - and I'm so looking forward to coming back to The Deco.
"It's a lovely theatre, great team and fab cast - and I know Nick will be a brilliant director; he's a great character, very funny on and off stage, and cares passionately about what he does," she said. "I always wanted to do another Deco Panto and 'Peter Pan' is going to be fab."
'Peter Pan' tickets are selling fast. To buy tickets, call 01604 491005, buy online at www.thedeco.co.uk, or call in to The Deco between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
"Nick, Lydia and Colin are all back by popular demand," said Jill Roach, of Northampton based Stage Right Productions, who manage The Deco.
"It's fantastic that Lydia agreed to return, and with Clive, Naomi and Chris Wills, plus the young local actors and dancers who have come through tough auditions, we have a fantastic team, and we are all really excited about putting on another great show for the people of Northamptonshire and beyond."