Amelia Lily becomes Tiger Lily this Christmas as she joins The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan at Worthing Theatres.
For Amelia, it’s most definitely a case of “And now for something completely different…”
Her year has been dominated by a long stint in Green Day’s punk musical American Idiot, a fantastic experience: “I did London last year and then we did five months on tour and now I have been back in London with it.
“It has been mental. It has been an amazing experience and a steep learning curve in terms of theatre. I really feel that I have grown up a lot. It’s quite an intense show, something you can really get into.
“Singing has always been something I have been quite passionate about, but I also really wanted to progress as an actress. I really feel like I have done. I think it is about confidence. I have had to kiss a lot of guys, but now it is just routine to me to do that on stage.
“But now this is totally different. It’s something that’s just really good fun. I love panto. I used to go and see them as a child. It was something really good fun towards the Christmas period. It’s a laugh was well.
“I lived in Middlesbrough, and I would go see shows at various venues, Sunderland and Newcastle and so on.”
This is Amelia’s second panto.
“The first was last year, Goldilocks in Billingham. I think it was because it was very close to my parents’ home.
“I knew that I would be able to spend Christmas with them. It was a no-brainer for me, and it is the same again this year. I don’t like to be too far away from home at Christmas.
“My first experience (of panto) was really funny. It was just such a fun rehearsal period. We only had like a week to rehearse, and it was such a laugh. And then the panto was really fun. You can interact with the audience a lot more. It’s totally different to doing a show. With pantomime, it is really important to make the audience feel like they are part of it.”
As for Tiger Lily: “She is quite a feisty character, and I can see why they wanted me for her. She is quite a tough cookie. She is very, very independent, and she can look after herself. It is going to be fun. Goldilocks was sweet and fun to play, but this is going to be totally different.”
For Amelia, it’s all the latest chapter in a career which launched when she finished third on the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011, mentored by Kelly Rowland. Her debut single, You Bring Me Joy, was released in 2012 and reached number two in the UK singles chart. Her follow-up singles Shut Up (and Give Me Whatever You Got) and Party Over (both 2013) reached the top 20 and the top 40 respectively.
Amelia admits it’s difficult to believe The X Factor is five years ago now, but she has certainly made the most of the opportunities it brought her.
“I have worked really hard. I realised that when you come off a show like X Factor, you have got to get off your backside and work really, really hard.
“There are a lot of talented people out there, and you have got to make sure that you really fight for it yourself.”
The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan runs from December 2-January 8 at The Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.
Tickets are available from Worthing Theatres’ box office on 01903 206206 and online at www.worthingtheatres.co.uk.
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