Princess Jasmine is the role in Aladdin at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre for Lucy Hope-Borne’s third panto.
“I started very early when I was about 16,” she says. “I played Cinderella down in East Sussex, in Hastings where I am from. Before that I had been in many a panto. My affiliations with panto go back a long way!
“I have already been to the Yvonne Arnaud before. A couple of years ago, I was in Sleeping Beauty. I love panto. People always say ‘You will be working over Christmas’, but for me that just makes Christmas even more special.”
As Princess Jasmine, Lucy believes she has got to be kind, charming and friendly: “My favourite part about being a Princess is the children. They just love it! When I played Cinderella, I got an essay from a little girl saying that one day she wanted to be Cinderella!”
Lucy attended the Hastings Stage Studio where she completed exams in all areas of dance, singing and drama. She then went on to join the National Youth Music Theatre Company in which she played the lead role in their production of Little Me.
“It was a massive part of my training. It seems so long ago! I had no idea really, I was so naïve – no idea that it was such a prestigious thing. My parents saw the advert and I went along. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my childhood. I went along to the audition. I didn’t really have any experiences of auditions. It was a real eye-opener.
“You do a summer workshop, which is a bit like a holiday camp. One of my best friends now is someone I met there. So you do the workshop and then you do the show in London. The whole concept of being in a West End show was just fantastic. It was such an experience.”
It taught her the importance of enjoying what you do – and even more crucially, to hang on to that enjoyment through thick and thin: “It can be a tough job, but you have just got to keep remembering why you are doing it!”
Aladdin is at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Friday, December 7-Sunday, January 13. Tickets on 01483 440000.