Tracey Beaker Returns star Kay Purcell’s wicked role in Doncaster panto - VIDEO

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SHE is already a familiar face to children - but actress Kay Purcell is ready to scare them in the last panto at Doncaster Civic Theatre.

Kay, best know as Gina in the children’s television programme Tracy Beaker Returns, was unveiled yesterday as the Wicked Queen in this year’s panto at a venue which has been the home of the borough’s main festive show since the 1970s.

Doncaster Civic Theatre Pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Doncaster Civic Theatre Pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch David Kessen’s chat with Kay Purcell.

But this year’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be the last, as the new theatre currently under construction as part of the Civic and Cultural Quarter will take over the Civic’s role next summer.

Kevin Johnson, theatre manager, said: “It will be the end of an era in that respect.”

Kay is looking forward to the honour of treading the boards for the last panto at the 90-year-old venue.

She said: “I’ve done lots of pantomimes before and I just love the audience participation that you get.

“It is so different to working on television, where you can film it, and then it can take months before it is shown. But with the stage, you known straight away if people like what you’re doing.

“The only drawback is that the costumes are so warm. I feels like I should be doing the Wizard of Oz, because I feel like I’m melting, like the wicked witch.”

“I’ve never performed in Doncaster before, and this is my first visit to the borough. People usually recognise me as Gina out of Tracy Beaker, but people will see she is really different to my wicked queen character in the panto.”

Kay will be joined on the stage by a number of Doncaster youngsters from the Nelly Stagles School of Dance, who will be playing the seven dwarfs.

The dance school was due to audition for the parts today.

They will double as dwarfs and dancers. The show is set for a prime time national television plug between now and when its three week run starts on Thursday December 13.

The actress who plays Snow White, 22-year-old Leah Murphy, is due to appear on the ITV show Take Me Out next month.

Although she will not say if she wins, she said: “I told them I was going to be playing Snow White.

“It was great being on the show and the presenter, Paddy McGuinness, was great, really funny.”