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Weymouth's Panto Factor picks its stars
AFTER weeks of waiting, Weymouth pantom-ime finally has its stars following a night of glittering entertainment at the Pavilion theatre.
Tom Reilly and Alexia Collard performed in the grand finale of Panto Factor with eight other hopefuls, including four from Wey-mouth and Portland, and won the leading roles.
They will now learn their scripts and begin rehearsing for Jack and the Beanstalk, in which they will appear as Jack and Princess Apricot.
The performers will share the stage with former X Factor finalist Andy Abraham, Home and Away stalwart Lynne McGranger and 90s pop singer Lolly, alias Anna Kumble.
Tom, 22 and from Torquay, is an old hand at the art of panto, having already played the dame in a festive show on the island of Fuertaventura.
This is the first professional job for 21-year-old Alexia, from Enfield, who graduated from London’s Urdang Acad-emy of Performing Arts this summer.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when they read out my name and said I’d got the part. This is just amazing. I can’t wait!”
Tom and Alexia won the roles through a gruelling audition process that took place at the Pineapple Dance Studios in London and at Weymouth Pavilion. They had to take part in acting and singing auditions before a panel of judges made up of Jamie Alexander Wilson, whose company Magic Beans Pantomimes is staging Jack, vocal coach Jasette Amos, the Dorset Echo’s Ruth Meech and Maria Greenwood from Wessex FM.
The four talented youngsters from Weymouth and Portland who won places in the grand finale were Adrian Bevan, Megan Bargery, Sophie Easthope and Hannah Derrick.
Jamie said: “The standard throughout has been exceptionally high.”
Jack and the Beanstalk is at Weymouth Pavilion from December 15 to January 6. Call 01305 783225 for full details.