Emma Marsh will be our Aladdin in Portsmouth this Christmas

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Emma Marsh has played Snow White. She has played Dick Whittington. Now she turns her attention to Aladdin at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth this Christmas.

Performances are from December 8 until Sunday, December 31 (with a BSL signed performance on December 17 and relaxed performance on December 31).

“I graduated from drama school in 2019 which was obviously just before Covid. I had six months of work and then Covid hit straight after that and that's when you really want to get your foot in the door as a new graduate, that first year. It was tough and it was a tough time trying to get back into the industry. It was always going to be difficult. It was a case of finding other things that I enjoyed but luckily I did manage to get my foot back in the door. I still think it's very hard for everyone in the industry but it does feel that things are now getting back to normal.

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“I have done four pantos. My first one was my professional debut in Leamington and I played Snow White and that's where I met my now fiancé there. He was playing Magic Max.”

Emma Marsh (contributed pic)Emma Marsh (contributed pic)
Emma Marsh (contributed pic)

They haven't managed to work together since: “He has been at the same venue for the past ten years but I have branched out a bit.”

Her next panto was part of a rep season and then last year, with Jordan Productions, she played Dick Whittington. Now she is Aladdin – and a female Aladdin too.

“It was a tradition to be a female playing the male lead and then a lot of other companies branched away from that but it feels right and I love playing the principal male character because you get the fun stuff like the ghost gag and just all the funny, comical things. It's nice to have a different stance on it and I'm just really enjoying it.”

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And it's a lovely prospect: “It's going to be exhausting and I'm going to sweat a lot but you just really enjoy the enjoyment of everyone there. I really enjoy the energy and the fact that everyone is up for it, and mistakes happen but you can just laugh about it and carry on, just knowing that it might because you're doing your third show of the day as part of a seven-day week. But the lovely thing is that everyone is involved especially the audience. The audience don't just sit there. They really are part of it, and you can really feel it.”

And Emma is convinced that the new Theatre Royal is going to be a lovely place to work: “It is beautiful, so beautiful. It looks like a London West End theatre and the artwork is just beautiful. You can really feel that it's got such a lovely atmosphere. When I walked in, I immediately got the tummy tingles!”

Joining Emma on stage, Kaysha Nada will be Princess Jasmine. Taking on the role of the mystical genie will be Miguel Angel, who has appeared in West End and UK tours alongside the likes of Vincent Simone and Donny Osmond.

Emma trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Her theatre credits include Dick Whittington in Dick Whittington, Rapunzel in Rapunzel: A Tangled Musical Adventure (UK tour), Snow White in Snow White (Royal Spa Centre, Leamington), Edie Parker in a workshop production of You’ll Be Okay and ensemble in West Side Story.

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