A TALENTED performer from Tadley is to be a pantomime star in Winchester this year.

Samantha Jenkinson, who is an associate producer with Proteus theatre company, is to perform the lead role of Aladdin in Theatre Royal Winchester’s big Christmas show.

The 26 year-old, left, said: “I am so excited to be playing Aladdin this year.

“I’ve not performed at the Winchester Theatre Royal before and I’m really excited to be so close to home this winter.

“In the past few years, I’ve been based in Leeds, Manches-ter, Liverpool and even Dubai so it feels really nice to be working so close to my husband and my family this time.”

Samantha, a past pupil of The Hurst Community School, developed her passion for acting while performing with The Christchurch Players – for whom she performed in Aladdin at Tadley Common Methodist Church.

She said: “As a teenager, I played the villain Abanazer so it’s going to be interesting to cross over to the good side this year and get the cheers rather than the boos.

“The Christchurch Players and Tadley Youth Drama both gave me my first taste for the theatre and I did nine productions with them before studying drama at Queen Mary’s College and then training professionally.

“I can’t wait to get stuck into rehearsals later this month...I can’t wait to meet the rest of the cast.”

Samantha will be performing in Aladdin at Theatre Royal Winchester from December 12 to Sunday, January 6.

Tickets are available by calling 01962 840440 or online from theatreroyalwinchester. co.uk.