Gary Ellis loves having the opportunity to work alongside his own students at this year’s Motherwell pantomime.
Gary stars as Nanny Agnes MacHaggis in Peter Pan while members of his Go Kids Scotland theatre school are also making the trip to Neverland.
Gary, who hails from Wishaw, returns to Motherwell Theatre having played an Ugly Sister in Cinderella in 2014. Last year he was in Bognor Regis playing Peter Pan, but is quite happy to swap a flight harness for a frock.
He said: “It’s lovely to be back home, last year I did the same production in England as Peter so being back here to play the dame is really exciting.
“It’s a long run with over 100 shows, but we are so well looked after here and it’s great working with my friends like Ian ‘Sheepie’ Smith (Smee) and Jamie Bannerman (Captain Hook) that every day I’m well up for it.
“It’s a nice challenge to go from playing a 14/15-year-old boy to a 50-year-old woman and I’ve been having fun with it, the way the show is written I get loads of time of stage with Sheepie and the two of us love that.
“Nanny is good, a bit bad, she’s easily influenced you might say, but I think everyone will warm to her as she’s a very Motherwell woman, I’ve based her on a lot of local influences, but I won’t admit to anyone in particular as I’d probably be disowned by family and friends.
“Ten of the boy from my stage school appear as Michael and Lost Boys so it’s great for them to come in, some have never been in a professional show before and it’s fantastic to see young local talent getting an opportunity.
“It’s nice having the boys there with me, I’ve been working on the show with them since September so it’s lovely knowing I’ve been a big part of getting there.”
Peter Pan is on until Sunday, January 8, for tickets and show times call 01698 403120 or visit www.culturenl.co.uk.