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Former Brookside actor Claire Sweeney launches Sleeping Beauty in Chatham

By Lynn Cox

Former Brookside actor and TV and stage star Claire Sweeney was in Chatham today to launch the Christmas pantomime.

Claire was joined by her fellow cast members at the Central Theatre and met youngsters who will see the show in December.

The Loose Women star will play the baddy in the who which starts on December 7 and runs to New Years’ Eve.

Claire on stage at the Central Theatre.

Claire on stage at the Central Theatre.

The star, whose TV career took off when she landed the role of Lindsey Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap, will play the wicked Carabosse in the Sleeping Beauty production.

Claire has appeared several times in the West End and played Roxie Hart in Chicago and Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls.

She was a regular on ITV’s Loose Women for three years, returning as a guest panellist on numerous occasions.

Claire Sweeney was in Chatham earlier today.

Claire Sweeney was in Chatham earlier today.

Claire was also the runner-up in the final of the first Celebrity Big Brother in 2001, losing out to comedian Jack Dee.

Speaking exclusively to KentOnline, the star said she is really looking forward to the show and starting rehearsals.

She said: “I am really excited about it. I mean, what an amazing cast. They are all brilliant and its a talented bunch.

The cast were in Chatham today on stage testing out their costumes.

The cast were in Chatham today on stage testing out their costumes.

“I met Joe (who is playing Chester) when he was still at school about 10 years ago and I said he was going to be a star then.”

“I have been in many pantos, to many to reel off, but I started doing them when I was 17, so 30 years of panto.

What’s making me more exited this year is that I’ve got a three year old son and I think he’s going to get it this year and really appreciate it.

"I am kind of seeing things through a little boys eyes, so its all magical again.

"This is my first time in Chatham, but its perfect. I live in Victoria in London so I can just get the train to work direct.

“It was wonderful seeing the faces of the children earlier, just wonderful.”

Claire Sweeney and Andy Moss meeting Lily and Sophia Kirk.

Claire Sweeney and Andy Moss meeting Lily and Sophia Kirk.

In Sleeping Beauty, her character is a rather disgruntled fairy with a serious fear of missing out.

When Carabosse does not make the guest list to Princess Belle’s christening, she takes her revenge in spectacular style so it is down to Prince Valiant, Nurse Nellie and Chester the Jester to save the day with a somewhat familiar invention.

Former Hollyoaks actor Joe Tracini, will play Chester and veteran pantomime dame Ian Good will play Joe’s on-stage mum, Dame Nellie Night Nurse.

Tickets are already on sale, call 01634 338388 or visit www.medwayticketslive.co.uk to get yours.

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