It’s a panto dream come true for Julie

ONE of the UK s top actresses will be returning to the Cambridge Arts Theatre next month in a new guise. Julie Buckfield will be starring in Aladdin alongside Matt Crosby (Wishee Washee) and Michael Fenton Stevens (Widow Twankey) in this year s pantomime

ONE of the UK's top actresses will be returning to the Cambridge Arts Theatre next month in a new guise.

Julie Buckfield will be starring in Aladdin alongside Matt Crosby (Wishee Washee) and Michael Fenton Stevens (Widow Twankey) in this year's pantomime about an impoverished boy who falls in love with a princess.

Julie, 30, said: "The Arts Theatre is such a lovely theatre and company to work with so I jumped at the chance to return for a third time.

"I've liked the tale of Aladdin from a young age and always dreamed of playing the lead role."


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Julie, who is from Cambridge, has starred in pantomimes such as Dick Whittington, Peter Pan and Jack and the Beanstalk.

"Because I have done so many pantomimes in the past, Christmas isn't Christmas without doing a pantomime," she said.

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"I love doing panto because it's live and if you make a mistake you just have to get on with it. But that's what keeps it fresh.

"Also in panto there isn't a strict story which enables you to be free, make an idiot of yourself and loose your inhibitions.

"At the Arts Theatre we really work well as a company and we thoroughly love it."

Julie began her acting career with her twin sister Clare, at the age of eight.

She said: "We both wanted to act, but at the start we did mostly commericals.

"As a child, I was quite shy but when you act you pretend to be someone else, and acting brought me out of myself."

Julie has appeared in plays such as Les Miserables, The Ghost Train and Passport to Pimlico, while her television credits include The Bill, Hollyoaks, and Grange Hill.

Her most memorable role was working on Holby City with Clare.

She said: "We hadn't worked with each other for 14 years, so it was nice to have this opportunity because we thrive off each other. We're very supportive of each other and it's something i'd like to do again."

Julie said her biggest challenge to date was acting in one of Shakespeare's classic plays.

She said: "I hadn't done Shakespeare since I left drama school so I was petrified because it was all in a different language.

"However, I believe it's good to challenge yourself rather than sit back and do easy things."

Aladdin will be staged at the Arts Theatre from December 8-January 14.

For tickets which range from £ 8-£25 call 01223 503333.

PRINCIPAL POINTS

# A Frenchman heard the story of Aladdin from a foreign storyteller. He then translated it in the winter 1709-10. The volumes were published in 1710

# The most recognised of all Aladdin adaptations is the 1992 cartoon

# Originally the principal girl was called Princess Balroubadour. However, after the Disney adaptation she is known as Princess Jasmine

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