AN ACTRESS from Southport is set to star with Pop Idol singer Gareth Gates in the Sleeping Beauty pantomime in Liverpool next month.
Emma Grace Arends, who starred as the only live character Daisy, in Peppa Pig; My First Cinema Experience, will be starring in the show from May 29 to June 5 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
She said: “I am just so happy that theatres and other venues are finally reopening and productions are getting things going again. It is so positive. This is a really big step for the theatre companies. Some tried to reopen in December, but suddenly had to close again when Covid cases started to rise. “It has taken a long time to happen. I’m proud of the production companies that are taking that leap of faith.”
Emma is best known as the only live character Daisy, in Peppa Pig; My First Cinema Experience and travelled the world with the show. She performed in Sydney’s Opera House and two UK no.1 Tours with four Christmas West End residencies including The Duke of Yorks Theatre, The Criterion and The Phoenix Theatre.
To lift spirits during the first wave of the pandemic, Emma dressed up as Daisy and surprised her fans with safe garden visits - with social distance measures in place - and personalised videos. All the proceeds went to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
Emma grew up in Southport and fell in love with performing at an early age.
At 16 she attended London’s Arts Ed Sixth Form as a compromise with her mum to finish off her studies. She then went on to the three-year BA honours degree at Arts Ed Drama School and has toured with Open Air Shakespeare companies playing roles such as Hermia, Juliet and Hero. She also performed at The Liverpool Empire years ago as Young Helen in Twopence to Cross the Mersey.
Emma worked on ITV’s Cilla as the choreographer in Liverpool with national treasure Sheridan Smith. Before the pandemic Emma starred in a TV pilot in Los Angeles called Across The Pond and has been seen all year in the Galbani Television advert.
She added: “I was in the panto at Southport Theatre in 2019, and used to love watching pantos in Southport when I was growing up. Southport is panto mad!
“I used to appear in the All Souls panto productions, and in the Little Theatre shows. We used to go and see the big ones at the Floral Hall. I used to go to Miss Bambers dance school in Southport, I was one of the ‘Bambers Babes’. I loved it, I have very fond memories.”
Emma is now looking forward to starring in Sleeping Beauty alongside pop star Gareth Gates.
Gareth was the runner-up in the first series of the ITV talent show Pop Idol in 2002 and has sold over 3.5 million records in the UK.
Emma said: “I have not met Gareth yet, so I am looking forward to meeting him. I remember Pop Idol, and watching the show with my Mum.It is very exciting! I’m looking forward to being back in rehearsals with other actors and can’t wait for the shows to begin.”
Image of Emma by Yaffe Photography
For tickets, visit: mandsbankarena.com