NEW

Interview with SESSIONS Set and Costume Designer

Ahead of Paines Plough’s latest touring show SESSIONS by Ifeyinwa Frederick coming to South Hill Park on Wed 27 Oct, the company took a few moments to speak with the show’s designer, Anna Reid, to find out about her work, what it takes to create the look of a Paines...

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day Fri 8 Oct Join us for a walk or tai-chi session in South Hill Park's beautiful grounds, Bracknell. Tai Chi: 11am-12noon Walk: 12.30-13.15pm Join us for an optional tea or coffee, cake and a chat to find out more about local mental health...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s next production Road

Come audition for the Studio Theatre Company's next production Road, by Jim Cartwright on Mon 27 Sept 7.30pm, and Fri 1 Oct 7.30pm. They will be group auditions, nothing to prepare. The company are looking for 7 actors most of whom will multi role. The performance...

Shrek 2022 Auditions

We are excited to share that our 2022 Easter Production will be Shrek The Musical - coming to the Wilde Theatre in April 2022! If you would like to be part of the greatest fairy tale never told, that's guaranteed family fun, then book your audition here. Auditions...

RARE Productions Hairspray Auditions

Visiting company RARE Productions will hold open auditions for their production of Hairspray at South Hill Park from Thu 3 - Sat 5 Feb 2022. Auditions will take place at South Hill Park on Tue 5 & Sat 9 Oct and are open for anyone aged 8-21yrs. Audition event...

Excellent results for South Hill Park’s LAMDA students

Eleven learners took their LAMDA exams at South Hill Park this summer under the tuition of Mark Hooper (Director of Learning, Participation and Community Engagement). The learners (10 Grade 8 & 1 Grade 1) had their exams cancelled at the start of the pandemic and...

Bracknell resident completes 500km run for South Hill Park Trust appeal

On 12 June 2020 Bracknell Forest resident David Baker pledged to run 500km in aid of South Hill Park Trust’s major public fundraising campaign following the potentially devastating impact of Covid-19. On Saturday 12 June 2021 David will complete this mammoth feet at...

An acting debut in Rope 2021

Gordon Vince, who will make his acting debut in the Studio Theatre Company’s 50th show celebration performance of Rope from Wed 23 – Sun 26 June, has shared with us what made him want to audition, what audiences can look forward to, and some behind the scenes...

Live events return to the Wilde

‘The social distancing at this was amazing; lines and rows of seats physically removed to keep all groups apart with a fantastic one-way system and oodles of sanitiser everywhere. It was lovely to support a local production and the cast were insanely good.’ – Louise,...

Calling all 8-18yr olds to audition for this year’s Pantomime, Cinderella (2021)

Panto Auditions – Junior Ensemble Want to be in panto? Oh yes, you do! Audition for South HiIl Park’s in-house pantomime production this Christmas Cinderella (Fri 26 Nov 2021 – Mon 3 Jan 2022). We are looking for 30 young performers who can dance, sing and act to form...



Navigation

Location

South Hill Park

Ringmead,
Bracknell,
Berkshire,
RG12 7PA
sales@southhillpark.org.uk

Interview with panto star Faye Ellen

November 25, 2019

Behind the scenes with Faye Ellen, who stars as Princess Jasmine in this year’s ALADDIN panto at South Hill Park

We’re all looking forward to South Hill Park’s 2019 panto – always a fabulous, awe-inspiring and truly professional production! In this year’s tale of ALADDIN, Faye Ellen stars as Aladdin’s love interest, Princess Jasmine – and we were lucky enough to have a behind-the-scenes chat with her during rehearsals.

Faye, you’re a professional actress, and this is your third Bracknell panto – so you obviously enjoy being here in Bracknell for Christmas?

South Hill Park has a special place in my heart. My first pantomime here was in 2017. It was Beauty and the Beast… and I played Belle. Then last year we did Dick Whittington And His Cat, and I was Alice Fitzwarren. This year’s character, Princess Jasmine, is a lot of fun – in our version of the Aladdin story she’s not your typical princess – she wants to be an engineer… and her mother doesn’t approve! My favourite thing about panto is that generally it’s children’s first experience of theatre. They can be involved and it’s quite easy-going, it’s not too intense, it’s fun, there’s always a little bit of cheekiness for the adults… And following on from the panto experience, many people of all ages will think about going to see a show in London, a touring production in their local theatre or whatever – all good news.

I get the impression there’s a real ‘family’ atmosphere going on here?

The Bracknell panto is gorgeous – it’s one of the classiest there is. The set by Victoria Spearing (who won the award at last year’s Great British Pantomime Awards, for her Staging and Sets) is phenomenal, she’s so imaginative… and the costumes by Naomi Gibbs and her team are sensational. Everything is just so well done, and everyone cares, that’s why coming back for the third time was a no-brainer for me – I know I am going to have an amazing Christmas, everyone is so lovely.  You’re part of a family, straight away. Last year Brad Clapson, who plays Widow Twankey (this is his eleventh pantomime at South Hill Park), arranged for me to stay with his parents here in Bracknell for the whole time – and I am doing the same this year, which is wonderful. Doesn’t that epitomise the family environment we’re all enjoying – everyone wants to help you!

There are thousands and thousands of children and teenagers throughout the UK who dream of being up there on the stage, just like you. How did you get into show biz?

So, my ‘discovering’ happened when I was 8 years old. I was singing in the back of my dad’s car (specifically to All Saints’ Never Ever) and my Nan turned to my dad and said “She can sing, you know.  You should see if she wants to go to lessons…” – and off I went!  As I got older I did a lot of competitions and then found my love for musical theatre. I started doing amateur dramatics with my friends in my teens and the family atmosphere that I got from it was just amazing. Being around the stage, lights, a team of people – and obviously getting to sing, dance and act blew my mind. I realised, corny as it may seem, that I belonged.

I wasn’t very successful in my academic subjects but I always knew it was important, so I did my A-levels (this pleased my parents). After that I auditioned for drama schools and got into The Italia Conti Arts Centre in London, on a foundation course. This training allowed me to get a place on the 3-year Musical Theatre course. This wasn’t for the faint-hearted, you really do have to work, not just on the physicals of singing, voice work, acting and all genres of dance – but on the mental health side of things too, as you are there to be critiqued to get better.

Then you went out into the big wide world…

I graduated in 2013, and of course having to earn a living was where I learned the most. I’ve had the most amazing opportunities – I’ve been on cruise ships (on one I was the principal singer), I’ve done adverts, been on regional stages up and down the country and  fringe venues in London – and every time you learn so much, either skill-wise or from the people you meet.

When we’re not performing, we still have to pay the rent and bills – so I’ve worked in bars, cafes, call centres, warehouses and catering companies. In between things I like to do yoga, meditate, meet friends for coffee, go for walks, visit family and generally spend time with good people. From my experience, my advice to anyone wanting to get into the business is work hard, be kind, don’t take yourself too seriously – and have fun, whatever you do.

There is limited availability for Aladdin tickets, however, due to high demand, there are two extra performances on Sun 5 Jan 2020. To book your tickets visit southhillpark.org.uk/pantomime.

Join Our FREE Mailing List

Join Our FREE Mailing List

Join our mailing list to receive all of the latest news and updates from our team -FREE!

You have successfully joined our mailing list!

X