Leeds Forum

Preview A Cinderella Story: Local Girl to Play Dandini in Leeds Panto

Carriageworks pantomime is raising funds for Cash for Kids and features new local talent

Local girl Kayleigh Newsome is delighted to have been chosen to play Dandini in the LIDOS pantomime production of Cinderella, which will be performed at the Carriageworks theatre from 12th until 21st January 2012.

Kayleigh, 18, who lives with her parents in Alwoodley and works part-time in Waitrose, is thrilled to be playing such an important role in the production. She said: “I was so excited when they called and said they would like to offer me the part. I can’t wait to perform at the Carriageworks. I did it once before when I was younger for a Shakespeare for Schools festival, but it will be a totally different experience doing it with LIDOS. I can’t wait.”

The character of Dandini is cut from the Disney adaptation of the fairytale but remains an integral part of the pantomime version; Prince Charming delivers royal ball invitations to women in the kingdom while disguised as his good friend Dandini – unsurprisingly confusion ensues as women believe Dandini to be the prince, lavishing him with unwanted attention.

This latest LIDOS production sees major roles such as Dandini and Prince Charming played by females in true panto style, while last year’s show, Jack and the Beanstalk, featured more men in women’s roles. And audiences will be pleased to note that not only is this production particularly Yorkshire-focused, but it is also raising money for Cash for Kids.

Kayleigh is excited about working with her fellow cast members, some of whom she met as part of the selection process. She said: “It was down to just me and one other person, and in the second audition we had to read with the actress who had been cast as the Prince. It was the perfect opportunity to work up the relationship with her, and really cheese it up, pantomime-style.”

Describing how she came to audition for the role, Kayleigh said: “I heard about the audition when I was working with another amateur dramatics company. A LIDOS representative asked me to audition. I was so nervous, but once I started singing the nerves eased off. I got the call inviting me to audition again after a long day’s work, so it was a wonderful piece of news.”

The cast have now started an intense rehearsal schedule in preparation for the opening date early in the new year. Kayleigh added: “The director, musical director, choreographer and cast are really nice and have made me feel very welcome. I can be quite nervous around new people, so that’s really helped me and made it a lot easier.

"I am really excited at the moment, but no doubt the nerves will kick in closer to the night.”

12-21 January 2012, Carriageworks theatre, Millennium Square, from £9.50, 0113 224 3801, www.carriageworkstheatre.org.uk

Posted on Thursday 17th November 2011
Rebecca Ross

The Carriageworks

The Electric Press, 3 Millenium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD

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