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Former EastEnders star Harry Reid, from Gravesend, on panto at the Marlowe Theatre

Panto season is upon us - oh yes it is! As the first panto curtain-up arrives, we chat to local boy and former EastEnder, Harry Reid, appearing at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.

Panto is a serious business, according to former EastEnders actor Harry Reid.

Harry, who lives in Gravesend, is best known for playing Ben Mitchell in EastEnders, and will this year join the cast of the Marlowe Theatre pantomime Cinderella as Dandini.

Harry Reid as Dandini. Picture: Paul Amos
Harry Reid as Dandini. Picture: Paul Amos

It’s the 10th consecutive year panto producers Evolution Productions, with director Paul Hendy, have brought audiences the Christmas extravaganza in Canterbury and Harry isn’t taking it lightly.

Harry, who is currently appearing in Agatha Christie’s Witness For The Prosecution at London’s County Hall, is excited to take on his first panto role, but is focussed on doing the best he can in the role.

“I had friends who had done panto with Evolution and worked with Paul and spoke highly of him, so I was incredibly excited when he came to me,” he said.

Harry Reid, Oliver Watton and Mister Maker, Phil Gallagher in rehearsals for the Marlowe Theatre's pantomime, Cinderella Picture: Chris Davey
Harry Reid, Oliver Watton and Mister Maker, Phil Gallagher in rehearsals for the Marlowe Theatre's pantomime, Cinderella Picture: Chris Davey

The 26-year-old added: “I love the characters I play.

“I miss the character of Ben. I have my frustrations about him and I wanted him to do well in life. I still see Jamie Borthwick, who plays Jay, and we have fantasies about how Ben and Jay will take over Albert Square.

“I haven’t got into character yet for the panto - I am a blank canvas as far as panto goes.”

Harry Reid, from Gravesend, is best known for his role as Ben Mitchell in EastEnders
Harry Reid, from Gravesend, is best known for his role as Ben Mitchell in EastEnders

“Coming from a serious play, where there is lots of crying and emotions flying around, this is an opportunity to have some fun while still doing the craft that I love. I will not allow myself to see this as a bit of fun - though we will also have fun! It is a whole new skill in itself.”

Oliver Watton as Prince Charming and Harry Reid as Dandini in rehearsal for Cinderella Picture: Chris Davey
Oliver Watton as Prince Charming and Harry Reid as Dandini in rehearsal for Cinderella Picture: Chris Davey

Harry joins a star-studded cast which includes TV star Sally Lindsay, Mister Maker Phil Gallagher and local panto favourites Ben Roddy and Lloyd Hollett.

The cast also includes Patrick Clancy as Baron Hardup, Oliver Watton as Prince Charming and Cara Dudgeon as Cinderella.

Look out for our review of the show soon.

* The show runs until Sunday, January 6 and tickets costing from £14.75, are available from 01227 787787 or visiting marlowetheatre.com.

The cast of Cinderella at the Marlowe Theatre Picture: Paul Amos
The cast of Cinderella at the Marlowe Theatre Picture: Paul Amos

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