Suzanne Shaw has come a long way since being discovered on the show Popstarz and then joining the band Hear 'Say. She has forged a career on stage and on TV - appearing in White Christmas, The Rocky Horror Show, Dancing on Ice and the hit soap opera - Emmerdale. She is about to tread the boards again - this time in panto at the Manchester Opera House as the title role in Cinderella. We caught up with her to see how the show was going and to talk about the past, present and future.

How are rehearsals currently going for Cinderella?
They are going really well. We are really ahead of ourselves. It is a brilliant show, with super talent in it, and it’s very funny and very romantic. It’s the best panto I have seen or been in. It’s selling really well, and is pretty much sold out.

What are you most enjoying about the role/ finding most challenging?
Cinderella is a funny part to play – you’ve got to keep the story going. I like comedy, and would much rather do a comedy part over straight parts. What is great is that little girls aspire to be like her – my niece is going to be in the audience on Christmas Eve, and she’s going to be in awe.

Why should people come and see this panto, in particular?
Well I think it is so much fun. It is a brilliant cast, there are great songs, and lots of dancing because of Louie Spence. It’s really upbeat and it’s really fun.

Are there any surprises that an audience can expect?
There are going to be lots of surprises in the show, especially from Louie. That’s all I can say really.

How are you enjoying working with the cast?
It is such a lovely cast - I am really enjoying myself and having a super time. We are all really hard workers. Louie is great – a lovely guy and I get on really well with him.

Previously you have starred in White Christmas at the Lowry – how does the traditional panto differ to starring in a full-blown musical?
I love my musicals, but it is a lot of fun doing panto.You get to interact with the audience, and it is nice to do different things.

Having starred in Emmerdale, what can you say you prefer about television and what you prefer about the theatre?
They are all very different. It’s what I love about my job. You get the opportunity to change and not do the same things. Neither is better than the other, and it’s great not knowing what’s next.

Are there any other parts that you are eager to play?
There are lots of different parts I would like to play – just everything really!

What’s next for you?
I am touring with Craig Gazey and Vicky Entwistle in Funny Peculiar.



Suzanne Shaw was speaking to Rebecca Cohen.

Cinderella is at the Manchester Opera House from 3 - 31 December.