Garry gets ready to soar as Bognor’s Peter Pan!

He comes from Motherwell, but the Scots accent will be lost as Garry Ellis heads south to perform as Peter Pan in pantomime in Bognor Regis this Christmas.

“For Peter Pan, I think the most important thing is to be truthful, which is a bit of a strange thing to say because I will be trying to sound English!

Garry - pic by Wayne Humphrey

Garry - pic by Wayne Humphrey

“But then if you think how many shows there are set in central Scotland, you realise I have very rarely done a show in my own accent!”

Garry currently lives in Greenwich.

“I trained quite a few years ago now. I was at the Italia Conti, and it was amazing. The theatre training is great. I had a great time there.

“I graduated in 2010, and it has been really good since. I have been working all over the place since I graduated, and then I was with Spillers pantomimes (producers of the current Bognor show) last year in my home town Motherwell, and that’s why I am doing it again with Spillers this year. Last year I was in Cinderella. I was her ugly sister... a very beautiful ugly sister!”

But now he’s tackling his favourite role.

“Peter Pan was always my favourite Disney cartoon when I was little. It’s a role that I really love. I always have done.

“I think I have watched every play and adaptation there has ever been of Peter Pan. It is just such a great story.”

But clearly it is also a strange and wonderful story, and in fact, with all its connotations, even a rather dark one – not that that side of things will necessarily be a consideration for the panto company in Bognor Regis this Christmas. J M Barrie’s own tragedies buried within it won’t be surfacing by the sea.

“I think you can go really deep into it if you wanted to with all the hidden meanings, but for the panto obviously you don’t really want to go into too much.

“You just want the children that are wanting to fly. It is going to be great to be working with children in the production.

“What I do in between acting jobs is I teach children, and it will be lovely to work with the Lost Boys in this. I teach various children of different age groups singing and dancing and acting, and it is so rewarding.

“Most of the other pantomimes I have been in have had children in the company, and it is such a great experience for them, especially at Christmas!”

Garry’s one slight Christmas regret is that inevitably it’s pretty rare that he actually gets to spend Christmas at home.

“Last year was the first Christmas I had spent at home in five years.

“But you get used to it. It is what you do.”

Speaking at the pantomime launch in September, Garry said he would probably be bringing his own Christmas forward this year.

“I will probably have a fake Christmas before we start (in Bognor), and my family will be coming down to see this just before Christmas which will be really great, but I have got a really nice network of friends in London who will be in a similar position at Christmas and we will all be getting together which will be fun.”

Peter Pan is at Bognor’s Regis Centre from December 16 to January 3.

Tickets on 01243 861010.

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