Teenagers to find out whether they have the panto factor

Dorset Echo: THIS IS MY SONG: Sophie Easthope performs at the auditions for the Christmas pantomine Jack and the Beanstalk at the Weymouth Pavilion THIS IS MY SONG: Sophie Easthope performs at the auditions for the Christmas pantomine Jack and the Beanstalk at the Weymouth Pavilion

TALENTED young hopefuls from Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester are waiting to find out whether they have got The Panto Factor.

Six performers from Dorset have won through to the next round of a hotly-contested competition to see who will take the lead roles in this year’s Weymouth pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

With X Factor finalist Andy Abraham, Home and Away’s Lynne McGranger and 1990s pop sensation Lolly, alias Anna Kimble already cast, the hunt is on to find performers to take the roles of Jack and Princess Apricot.

The successful candidates from auditions at Weymouth Pavilion will join a group of other performers who were successful at auditions at the Pineapple Studios in London.

They will now face the judges once again in audition recalls at the Pavilion theatre on September 29.

Jamie Alexander Wilson of Magic Bean pantomimes, who is the show’s producer, said: “I’m really looking forward to the recalls, although they will be tough as we have to pick 10 people for the Grand Finale.

“There are a lot of people here who can do the job and that makes it tough because we have to find people who are not just right for the job, but also right for each other on stage.”

The Panto Factor judging panel consists of Jamie, London-based vocal coach Jasette Amos, the Dorset Echo’s Ruth Meech and Maria Greenwood from Wessex FM.

For the early auditions, performers have had to sing a song of their choice and tell the judges a bit about themselves.

For the recalls they will go through acting and singing auditions and the 10 successful finalists will have to perform in front of an audience at Weymouth Pavilion on October 7 before the judges make their final decisions.

Jamie, who is also producing a pantomime in Sevenoaks, Kent, said: “It’s exciting but also scary because a large part of the success of the show rests on us picking the right two people and if we make the wrong decision Jack and the Beanstalk will be worse because of it. We have a big, huge task ahead of us and the pressure is really on.”

The Grand Finale is in the Ocean Room at Weymouth Pavilion on October 7 at 7.30pm and will include a performance by singer Andy Abraham, who was last in town on carnival day.

Tickets are £5 from the Pavilion box office and by calling 01305 783225.

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