“I like that Belle is a nerd…because I’m also a bit of nerd,” said CBeebies favourite Danielle Jam who will become the princess in this year’s HMT panto Beauty And The Beast.
“She loves reading, books and she’s really smart and she follows her heart – what else is better than to look up to that?”
Reminiscing of the time she would watch the Disney version of the story with her family, Danielle is counting down the days to try on her fabulous costumes and “become a princess”.
“Beauty And The Beast is one of my all-time favourite Disney stories,” said Danielle.
“Me and my mum would watch the movie all the time when I was a kid and it just feels like a dream – I cannot wait to wear my golden ball gown and be a princess.”
While she hasn’t seen the costumes yet, Danielle has a lot of “fantasies” and images in her head of what her gowns are going to look like. And she’ll find out soon as the talented cast will start rehearsing on November 22.
Panto season is about family, community and traditions
Danielle, who appeared as Princess Jasmine in Alhambra Theatre’s Dunfermline pantomime Aladdin in 2019, said she really enjoys the “panto seasons” as she believes the special time of year is all about family, community and traditions.
“The panto is always something to look forward to,” said Danielle, who currently stars in Molly and Mack on CBeebies.
“And especially after the past year and a bit that we’ve had it’s all the more important to communicate and connect with the people that we love.”
Danielle said she just “cannot wait” to make the popular character her own and work alongside HMT’s much-loved panto dame Alan McHugh and River City star Paul-James Corrigan.
Aberdeen’s Laura Main – best known from Call The Midwife – and Torry-born actress and River City star Joyce Falconer will also enchant this year’s audiences.
Fantastic Aberdeen cast for Beauty And The Beast
Danielle, who is from Aberdeen and studied HND Acting & Performance at NESCol before going to Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret University, hopes to see a lot of her hometown friends at this year’s pantomime.
She said: “It’s such a dream to be able to perform at home and in His Majesty’s Theatre. I grew up going to the theatre with my grandma – she would take me there all the time.
“I’m just so excited to perform at home, especially because I know that everybody that I’ve grown up with will probably come and see it – just to see the show and then I’ll just pop out like ‘Surprise, remember me?'”
Great local references and hometown audiences
Packed full of Aberdeen talent, fans can expect a lot of local references.
“We’ve got Joyce Falconer with us this year and she’s an Aberdonian quine like myself so there’ll be plenty of that (local references).”
We caught up with Danielle when she was part of the popular A Play, a Pie and a Pint production The Silver Superheroes. She said the experience was like a little taster of what’s to come at Christmas time.
“It’s been really good,” said Danielle.
“It’s been a good wee taster to just enjoy being in front of an Aberdonian audience on a slightly smaller scale (at The Lemon Tree) – it got me used to what it’s going to be like on a much much bigger scale in HMT.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks of this year’s show.”
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