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Peter Pan Christmas panto launch with Holby City star Paul Bradley at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells

He may have been in EastEnders, Holby City and had a career that's spanned decades, but actor Paul Bradley will be playing a full-on baddie for the first time when he steps on stage in Tunbridge Wells this Christmas.

Paul, who played Elliot Hope in Holby City for 10 years and played Nigel Bates in EastEnders in the 90s, will be embracing his inner baddie as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the Assembly Hall Theatre.

Paul Bradley will play Captain Hook at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells this Christmas Picture: Andy Jones
Paul Bradley will play Captain Hook at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells this Christmas Picture: Andy Jones

Joining him for the swashbuckling adventure will be Lloyd Warbey from Disney's Art Attack as Peter; Holly Atterton from Nick Junior's Go Go Go as Tinker Bell, Hollyoaks' Sarah Jane Buckley as Mrs Darling and, returning for a third year as the Dame will be Quinn Patrick as Mrs Smee.

He said: "This will be my first proper baddie. When you read the original play that JM Barrie wrote, Hook was very posh - he was an Etonian, and quite a bully.

"I'm thinking you may even spot some Boris Johnson elements in my Hook."

Ahead of rehearsals for the show, Paul is set to appear back on our screens as Elliot Hope again, when he makes a one episode guest appearance back on the show in November.

"I loved Holby. It is hard work but the thing is, you never get bored because there's a different storyline every week and you don't notice the time passing, and the cast and crew are really nice there."

Quinn Patrick (Mrs Smee) and Paul Bradley (Captain Hook) Picture: Andy Jones
Quinn Patrick (Mrs Smee) and Paul Bradley (Captain Hook) Picture: Andy Jones

For Quinn Patrick, who will play the Dame for the third time in the theatre's panto, returning to panto is like "a comfy pair of slippers".

"I'm from Essex, but Kent's been very kind to me," he said. "Tunbridge Wells is a really good place at Christmas. There's an ice rink which was really good fun.

"It's like a comfy pair of slippers. People like familiarity in panto. People love a good groaner of a gag; they love the routines and they want the magic. Everything is on a screen nowadays, so it's good to see something live."

Paul added: "It is often a child's first visit to the theatre. And Peter Pan is a great story - it is one of the best stories."

The show will be directed by the theatre's own JJ Almond, who also directed last year's, and produced by Martin Dodd for UK Productions by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Samuel French Ltd, in association with the Assembly Hall Theatre.

Quinn Patrick (Mrs Smee), Paul Bradley (Captain Hook) and Lloyd Warbey (Peter Pan) Picture: Andy Jones
Quinn Patrick (Mrs Smee), Paul Bradley (Captain Hook) and Lloyd Warbey (Peter Pan) Picture: Andy Jones

Families will be able to meet Peter and the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell and join them as they set sail for Neverland and take on Captain Hook. The show will feature flying effects, jokes and the hungriest of crocodiles, with spectacular sets and dazzling costumes.

Peter Pan at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, runs from Saturday, December 7 until Sunday, January 5, 2020. Tickets cost £17.75 and £15.75 for children. To find out more go to assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01892 530613.

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