Panto returns to the Sunderland, with Peter Pan opening on 13 December. We are promised a lot of flying and laughs a plenty as Tom Lister (Carl from Emmerdale) take the role of Hook. Tom told us “my son has Peter Pan on the ipad and continually watches it. So when the opportunity to play Hook came I long I jumped at the chance. However, as my wife is a teacher, I am unsure about how long the family can come to Sunderland for, but they will certainly see the show”.

While Sy Thomas (Archie from the Revolting World of Stanley Brown) plays Smee continued by adding “ Even though Tom and I have no panto experience we know this is going to be a great show. I was in Sunderland with the Blue Peter Olympic Roadshow and had a great time, even if the weather was not kind. But , I still have to sort out somewhere to stay when up here”

Meanwhile, Sarah Jane Buckley (Cathy Barnes from Holyoaks and brilliant playing Eva Cassidy), will play Mrs. Darling, and a mermaid, in Peter Pan, admitted to being the “mother of the cast”. “This is the fifth time I have appeared in this panto and I am sure we will have a great time. Plus even though I have toured extensively in the past, including with the Chuckle Brothers, I cannot remember playing Sunderland Empire before. So I am really looking forward being here and working with Tom and Sy, as well as Katy Ashworth, who will play Peter Pan”

When I mentioned that it was noticeable how well the cast got along and the chemistry between them was very strong, Sarah Jane added “Yes it great, we only met quickly for a photo shoot and then today at the launch but we just clicked” Personally having attended many of these events, it was so noticeable how well they did get along with each other as well as the press. It was as if they had known each other for years!

Peter Pan runs from 13 December to 6 January.