Student Set To Star In City Panto

A University of Cumbria student is set to star in their first Carlisle theatre Christmas pantomime this December.

Martin Beattie is a third year Drama and Musical Theatre student and will take on the role of Dame Mary-Loo in the Green Room’s production of Robin Hood.

Playing the dame in a panto is something Martin has wanted to do from an early age, and the character has definitely lived up to his expectations.

He said: “I don’t think ‘personal’ or ‘boundaries’ are in her vocabulary.”

“She’s a little absent minded and long winded, but she has a good heart and an assortment of fabulous dresses to match.”

Rehearsals for the show began all the way back in September and, with this being Martin’s first pantomime, he was understandably nervous when they began.

“The rehearsals have been brilliant; it’s such a privilege to be working with so many wonderful performers.”

“The environment is less intensive than other production genres, but the energy levels have to be through the roof because everything is completely over the top and fun. There is definitely a lot of work and preparation that goes into every scene and aspect of production.”

As well as the panto, Martin is also appearing in two different original productions as part of his university course as a Musical Theatre and Drama joint honours student. Balancing all three shows has proved to be one of the biggest challenges for him to overcome.

“I’m fortunate enough to be involved with two wonderful pieces of original theatre while at university; ‘In My Mind’ by Blue Ekhaletruo and ‘SPECTRUM’ by Amy West.


One of the main challenges of being involved in three productions at once is arranging the time to learn lines and blocking for them all. I’m not an organized person by nature so it has been a bit of a personal challenge. Thankfully the shows are all well underway and are now in the final stages of production, so hopefully it’ll be all right on the night.”

The story of Robin Hood is of course a well-known one, but in true pantomime style the Green Room’s show has flipped the script slightly to provide that classic Christmas cheer.

“The panto differs from the classic tale in some places, some characters aren’t who you might expect them to be and of course political correctness definitely isn’t a feature.

The same fundamental elements of the play are the same though, with friendship, loyalty and of course true love all at the heart of the story.”

Despite such a long rehearsal period it is clear that Martin is just as enthusiastic about the show as he was on day one and he can’t wait to get out there and perform it to a live audience.

“It’s always such a boost to have the audience’s energy and participation, especially in such an energized performance.

Rehearsing the same gags and jokes on a regular basis means that you become used to them, so having an audience to laugh at what’s going on is a real boost.“

If you want to support Martin in the Green Room’s production of Robin Hood then make sure you get down to the theatre and buy your tickets. There are showings most days between Monday, December 1 and Saturday, December 13.



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