Five minutes with… Samantha Atkinson

Published: Wednesday 21st December 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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You may have cheered on local girl Samantha Atkinson during this year’s X Factor.

Playing the evil Queen of Gooseland, the East Hull landlady now joins the cast at this year’s Hull City Hall panto, Mother Goose.

We managed to get five minutes with her between rehearsals to see how excited she is about this new adventure.

What can the Hull City Hall audience expect from Mother Goose?

A lot of fun. During rehearsals, I’ve seen just how much of a laugh panto can be. It’s the funniest thing, even for me when I’m just watching everyone rehearse. I’m so excited about it.

What excites you most about your role as Queen of Gooseland?

I’m just so happy to have been given the chance, especially so soon after leaving X Factor. It’s such a good part as well – I’m the Wicked Queen!

I love the fact that I’m acting, which is fairly new to me. Getting the chance to play someone completely different is fantastic as well.

I think what excites me most about the show is the fact it’s so family-friendly. My little girl has been with me every day during rehearsals; it’s been lovely.

Have you ever had an acting role before?

I have never acted in my life. This is my very first pantomime. I went to college and studied Performing Arts, but always concentrated more on other things, like singing.

Has it been difficult to transition from singer to actress?

It has been quite challenging. Pantomime is meant to be very silly, but obviously people have still paid their money to see me act and play a decent role.

Is it nice to be playing in your hometown?

It’s been lovely really. Since coming off X Factor I’ve been so busy with events here, there and everywhere. So yes, it’s very nice that I am home for Christmas.

The great thing about it is that I already knew quite a lot of the cast. I went to college with Gemma Oaten and many years ago I was in a duo with Lisa Kelsey, plus she’s the godmother to my little girl.

So, on the day I came to meet the rest of the cast, it was all of these people from my childhood!

Rehearsals must have been fun then?

I’ve laughed all the way through the rehearsals, they’ve been wonderful. The cast, directors, crew and entire team have been absolutely brilliant. I feel truly honoured that I’m working with them all.

Is pantomime similar to the X Factor in any way?

In a way, yes. It’s still very nerve-racking to go out on stage and showcase yourself and your voice. I’m singing a massive song, so it is a little terrifying.

But it’s also very different to X Factor auditions, in that I’m not under as much pressure.

Hopefully Simon Cowell won’t be in the audience to put the pressure on…

Well, you never known in Hull do you?!

What else can you tell us about the show?

Expect the unexpected, that’s all I can say. It is an amazing, brilliant family show. It’s the most affordable panto in town, you won’t be disappointed.

Mother Goose will be performed daily at Hull City Hall at 2pm and 7pm from Wednesday 21 to Thursday 29 December (excluding Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, when there will only be a 2pm show, and Christmas Day, when there will be no performances). Tickets are £14 and can be purchased by calling the box office on 01482 300300, or you can book online.

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Published: Wednesday 21st December 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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