Call The Midwife star Laura Main will be making wishes come true when she plays the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at His Majesty’s this Christmas.
And the Evening Express granted the Aberdeen-born star’s own wishes by taking her on a whistle-stop tour of some of her favourite spots in the Granite City when she came home to share her joy at being part of HMT’s panto.
“I am unbelievably excited about being in the pantomime and to come home for Christmas,” said Laura, a household name as Shelagh Turner in the BBC’s popular series.
“I’ll be home for two months… I haven’t spent that length of time in Aberdeen since just before I moved to London.
“I’ve seen the panto many, many times and it has been a dream of mine to be part of it.
“I’m thrilled I’m getting to do it this year.”
Laura was in Aberdeen just days after filming wrapped for the ninth series of Call The Midwife.
“We literally just finished at the weekend and that was just over six months of filming,” she said. “We started a little bit early because our Christmas special is a bit different. We go to the Outer Hebrides.
“But while we have finished filming, it’s a lovely feeling because we know we are going to be back as series 10 and 11 have been commissioned as well. It’s just a break. After a month off, the rehearsals will start for the panto.”
Laura said she thoroughly enjoyed the chance to revisit some of her most-loved places with the Evening Express, before coming up to join the rest of the Cinderella cast, including Louie Spence and Alan McHugh.
“I have loved visiting some of my favourite places today.
“I know when I start rehearsals it will be quite full-on and when we perform it’s going to be two shows a day. So it is great to come up now and do some lovely things in Aberdeen before I get stuck into pantoland.”
Cinderella will be at His Majesty’s Theatre from November 30 to January 5.
Here are some of her favourite places in Aberdeen and why they mean so much to her
“One of the reasons I chose to go to Aberdeen University was because I wanted to be in the student show.
“I saw it when I was about 11 and turned to my mum and said: “I want to go to Aberdeen University so I can be in that.
“I wasn’t quite ready go to London, not quite ready to go to drama school and make that bit leap. I knew the University of Aberdeen is a great university – I studied the history of art – but there’s also a great drama scene, particularly with the student shows. They sell out the theatre and raise loads of money for charity. So I did three of those.”
“What’s so great about Aberdeen is that it’s a vibrant, cultural city, but you are so close to the outdoors as well.
“It is a real tonic, if I’m honest, living in London, being able to come home to Aberdeen and get to open spaces that really feel like nature. Here at Hazlehead you have the park and all the trails – I sometimes go running there.
“I went to Hazlehead Academy so this park is just local and home for me.
“I love getting further out to the hills, to Bennachie and we holiday out Deeside.
“But if you just want a local, quick outdoor fix, just go up to Hazlehead Park and the surrounding area.”
Aberdeen Arts Centre
“The Arts Centre is the reason I am an actor. Being at a loose end one summer holiday, they were doing activities for children, it was called the Arts Carnival. There were all sorts of classes – you would do music, drama, art and dance.
“That’s where I met Karen Berry of what used to be the Karen Berry School of Dance but is now Danscentre. I knew I was never going to be a dancer, but I enjoyed it and I think she could see that.
“But if something was happening, like a professional show coming to town, she would phone some of the mums and dads and say ‘give the auditions a go’. That’s why I did the Wizard of Oz, that’s why I did the Sound Of Music.”
His Majesty’s Theatre
“His Majesty’s is such a beautiful building and I used to see lots and lots of shows there growing up. Quite often I would to the stage door and get the actors’ autographs.
“It’s where I discovered a love of performing and realised you could do this as a profession.
“I was in the children’s choir in Joseph and that was my first ever time performing at His Majesty’s.
“But the one where I realised, ‘gosh, people act as a living’ was being one of the Von Trapp children in the Sound Of Music.
“It was a beautiful professional production and had Christopher Cazenove and Liz Robertson in it.”