This Christmas, Lolly will be playing The Enchantress at Blackburn Empire Theatre in Tom Rolfe’s production of Beauty and the Beast, alongside a cast including Johnny Wright as Prince/Beast and Stee Leahy as Tilly Teapot, with the pantomime running from 25th November to 31st December. With her music career starting in the 1990s, Lolly has released hits including Mickey, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and her 1999 debut single Viva La Radio, and travelled around the world performing her music. During her time as a music artist so far, she has had five top 20 hits, two Gold-selling albums, along with being a Brit Award nominee. As we are heading towards pantomime season, we chat with Lolly about her upcoming role of The Enchantress in Beauty and the Beast, what she enjoys about performing in pantomimes and releasing music over the years.
It’s been announced that you will be playing The Enchantress in this year’s Beauty and the Beast pantomime at Blackburn Empire Theatre, what will you bring to the role?
Well, for a start you’ll have to come and see! (wink wink) I’ll bring some magic that’s for sure!
What are you looking forward to for opening at Blackburn Empire Theatre and being part of their production of Beauty and the Beast?
I’m looking forward to meeting the audience, to be honest. After meeting some of the shoppers a few weeks back whilst promoting the show, I had such a great feeling and was blown away with how such a friendly community Blackburn is.
How was it meeting the rest of the cast for the first time?
It was honestly such great fun. I had such a laugh and know we are going to have a blast this Christmas.
Is there anything you enjoy most about working on pantomimes and how is it interacting with the audience?
I enjoy watching the families come together, to be honest. Seeing the audience sat enjoying the same show at the same time is the most wonderful thing to witness.
Have you performed in a Beauty and the Beast pantomime before and what do you think The Enchantress will be like to play?
I’ve actually never been in a Beauty and the Beast production and I’m so excited to help tell this beautiful story.
Why would you recommend booking tickets to see Beauty and the Beast at Blackburn Empire Theatre this Christmas?
I’d say if you want a couple of hours of fun magic and music then get your tickets now and come and join us.
You had huge success with your music career in the late 1990s/early 2000s, how was it seeing the fan response to your music releases?
Well, to be honest, it’s ongoing. It’s been incredible and I’m so grateful for all of it.
How was it recording your own versions of songs such as Mickey and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and what do you remember from releasing your debut single Viva La Radio in 1999?
Haha, of course I remember 1999! It was a huge year for me, I guess. Who would have thought that something I created so long ago, I am still being asked about in 2023.
What are some of your stand-out memories from your music career so far?
Oh gosh. Well, five top 20 hits, two Gold-selling albums and being a Brit Award nominee are pretty special. I think travelling the world performing my music was just a brilliant experience and I really am blessed to have those precious memories.
Where does your love of performing come from and how did you originally get into it?
I have no idea, to be honest. I’m not from a performing background at all, my parents just took me to a little dance school after I begged them to take me after watching a friend in a local show and that was all it took! I was hooked on performing from such a young age. It was the only thing that truly made me feel like I had fire in my belly!
Do you have any favourite music artists to listen to?
Gosh, so many….. I don’t get much choice now though as my kids hair over the music selection so now I’m listening to Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift etc. Haha.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Gosh, I love cooking and trying different kinds of foods from around the world and luckily my family do too. I’ve heard Blackburn has some amazing curry houses so I’m up for sampling those!
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