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Maidstone: Vexx Studios launches pantomime to be performed at Maidstone TV Studios

A company which usually runs photo shoots and music production is branching out by running a pantomime this Christmas season.

Oh no they're not! Oh yes they are!

Vexx Studios will hold the production of Peter Pan for three weeks from Friday, December 15 until Saturday, January 6 at the Maidstone TV Studios.

Maidstone Studios will be the venue for a pantomime for the first time
Maidstone Studios will be the venue for a pantomime for the first time

The New Cut Road studios are home to programmes including Later with Jools Holland and Take Me Out, but have never hosted a panto before.

Yesterday the stars got together for the first time at Vexx's Park Wood studios, and tried on their costumes.

While the costumes may have been semi-traditional - with the exception of pantomime dame Mrs Starkey - the show is set to be much more modern.

Lloyd Daniels, a former X Factor star who will play Peter, said he was most excited to see how the flying would work.

Lloyd Daniels will play Peter Pan
Lloyd Daniels will play Peter Pan

Daniels previously played Pan last year at The Pavilion Theatre in Worthing, West Sussex, and says flying was one of his favourite things.

"I was really bruised by the end of it, but it was so much fun," he said.

"I can't wait to see how they're going to do it in the studios, it's going to be amazing."

Daniels will go up against former Hollyoaks star James Sutton, who will play the gruesome Captain Hook.

The 34-year-old, who spent more than eight years in Liverpool filming the Channel 4 soap, said he was excited to get stuck in to playing a villain.

Hollyoaks star James Sutton will play Captain Hook
Hollyoaks star James Sutton will play Captain Hook

"This is my first ever pantomime, and I think it's a rite of passage for an actor really, even Ian McKellen has done pantomime," he quipped.

"I never get cast as a villain, so when they rang my agent and said would James like to play Captain Hook I was so excited because I just look like a child basically."

As if one X Factor star wasn't enough, the show has added another one with the casting of Amelia Lily as Tinkerbell.

Local girl Jazmin Patey-Ford will play Wendy, while TOWIE star and former Miss England finalist Pascal Craymer will star as Tiger Lily.

Comedic characters Mr Smee and pantomime dame Mrs Starkey are in good hands with their actors, Adam Hoffman and Dave Short.

The pair, who only met yesterday, were in high spirits and had already built up a good rapport.

Hoffman, who lives in Maidstone and works nationwide as a comedian, magician, and performer, joked that he "loves a man in drag," and couldn't wait to work with Mrs Starkey.

Dave Short will play the pantomime dame Mrs Starkey
Dave Short will play the pantomime dame Mrs Starkey

Short said: "I got involved because it was this or community service.

"But in all seriousness, I worked with Danny - the producer - years ago, and after the pantomime I was in last year I put my panto showreel up online as a joke saying 'just putting this up in case anyone is looking for dames,' and Danny got in touch!"

Producer Danny Wright said: "We’re very excited to be bringing such an extravagant and modern production to the county town of Kent!

"We’re very thankful to the Maidstone Studios for being so accommodating to something they are not used to hosting… but with the incredible space and unbelievable facilities we know this is going to be an unforgettable show.

"Our star cast is full of talent and experience. We’re trying to bring something fresh and new to Maidstone and we think this cast represents that."

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