After several years as the pantomime fairy, CBeebies presenter Rebecca Keatley is delighted to be taking on the princess role this time, Jasmine in Worthing this Christmas.
“I got offered the part,” she says. “I guess it is promotion!
“To be honest, I haven’t seen the script yet,” Rebecca said at the August panto launch at the theatre.
“But I am sure Princess Jasmine is going to have a bit of feist! She is going to have a bit of energy as well. She is not going to be completely demure.
“And she is also going to have a bit of mystery.
“I am really looking forward to doing this show.
“I love the story of Aladdin, and I can already see that we have got a great cast, that everybody is lovely and that we are going to have a great time working together. (Steps star) Lee (Latchford-Evans) is a real gentleman, and he is going to be my Aladdin, which will be lovely.”
Pantomime feels like a very natural progression from her CBeebies’ work.
You can find her entertaining children from the CBeebies House and she also stars inthe hit children’s TV show, Let’s Play.
“It is quite a heightened way of presenting, and we are quite naturally living in a world of make-believe!
Panto is the next step.
“And it is also about sending out a good positive message, which is what CBeebies focuses on quite a lot.
“We are from zero to seven, and a lot of them won’t have picked up an iPad at that age, but if we can hold on to their childhood a little bit longer, then that is great. We certainly feel pretty child-like doing this job!”
Rebecca has been doing CBeebies now for six years: “I ended up doing a character comedy show with a friend in London and Edinburgh. I wanted to get into character comedy and my friend mentioned that they were looking for somebody for a new show for CBeebies, and so I sent my show reel off and auditioned and I ended up getting the job. I am a presenter but we also get to do a lot of characters as well which is lovely.”
As for whether she sees herself specialising completely in children’s work, Rebecca has got a simple and straightforward answer.
She simply doesn’t have time to do anything else.
Not that she is complaining. She absolutely loves it.
“I feel absolutely blessed to have this wonderful chance to work with children.
“Before that I was just a jobbing actress doing commercials and short films and corporate things.
“But it is just fantastic to have this chance to entertain children. They are so generous in the way they respond to you. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. They are so lovely to be around.”
Aladdin runs at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing from Friday, November 30-Tuesday, January 1. Tickets on http://www.worthingtheatres.co.uk or 01903 206206.
The panto also features award-winning stand-up comedian Vikki Stone as Abanazar, Mark Jones as Wishee Washee and Brighton cabaret artist Dave Lynn as Widow Twankey.