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Peter Pan Panto launch at Dartford Orchard Theatre stars Eastenders hard man Steve McFadden

Soap star Steve McFadden will swap the fictional East London streets of Walford for Dartford as he lines up his next villainous role, as Captain Hook.

The pantomime villain, best known for playing Eastenders ‘hard man’ Phil Mitchell, will turn his wicked intentions towards Peter Pan when he appears at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford this December.

Peter Pan panto stars from left to right: Andy Ford, Steve Mcfadden, Keisha Atwell, Joe Sleight. (17778014)
Peter Pan panto stars from left to right: Andy Ford, Steve Mcfadden, Keisha Atwell, Joe Sleight. (17778014)

McFadden was joined by his swashbuckling shipmate and comedian Andy Ford, (Mr Smee), Joe Sleight (Peter Pan) and Keisha Atwell (Tiger-Lily) outside the theatre on Tuesday as they posed with Bill the Croc, a giant special effects reptile.

Former British Soap Awards ‘Villain of the Year’, McFadden is one of Britain’s best loved baddies and has been a regular on our TV screens for nearly three decades.

He will reprise the role of Peter Pan’s arch-nemesis, Captain Hook, which he last played alongside regular pantomime comic Andy to critical acclaim at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth in 2017.

Having previously appeared at the Orchard Theatre back in 2012/13 to play Abanazar in the Pantomime adaptation of Alladin the soap star will now be returning to bring some festive magic to Dartford.

Commenting on the enduring appeal of the show, McFadden said: “It’s the same great show, we don’t need to change it - but I’m happy to be led by Andy, the comic.”

Peter Pan and Captain Hook do battle with Bill the Croc (17778022)
Peter Pan and Captain Hook do battle with Bill the Croc (17778022)

“Pantomime is the antidote to Eastenders for me. It’s artistic and you can play around with it.”

“My favourite part is making people laugh - the scenes with Tinker Bell are usually everyone’s favourite but are also some of the most dark.”

Born in Maida Vale, he now lives in Highgate with his partner and five children who he says are looking forward to watching the panto: "It’s a family thing every year,” he adds.

McFadden remained tight-lipped on his big upcoming Christmas storyline in Eastenders but says filming commenced this week which means it should be wrapped up ahead of the one week dress rehearsals.

Dartford audiences will be able to see the TV bad boy up close when he stars in the Peter Pan pantomime which runs from Saturday December 14 to Sunday January 5 next year.

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