Children's television star Katrina Bryan is looking forward to repeating her appearance in the pantomime, Dick Whittington, even though the intervening years have seen her go from leading lady to fairy godmother. Katrina, who is probably best known for playing Nina in the hit CBeebies series Nina and the Neurons, will be joining the cast of Dick Whittington at the Lichfield Garrick theatre in Staffordshire this festive season. She will play the role of Fairy Moonbeam in the fun-filled family panto, having previously starred as Alice Fitzwarren in a production a "long time ago". As Katrina says: "I suppose it's a natural progression to go from leading lady to playing the fairy godmother, but I've always loved panto ever since I left drama school and I'm very much looking forward to doing Dick Whittington after such a long time."
Katrina Bryan to star in Dick Whittington at Lichfield Garrick
Katrina, who studied and still lives in Edinburgh, has been a children's TV favourite ever since landing the part of Nina in the award winning Nina and the Neurons in 2006. The popular science-based series has remained on our television screens since 2007 and is now shown all across the world. As Nina, Katrina has also appeared in various other children's TV series including Swashbuckle, Justin's House; Justin and Friends and CBeebies Live which has seen her tour arenas around the UK. "Nina's Science Lab" is also one of the main attractions at Cbeebies Land within Alton Towers. Despite this she has also appeared in adult television shows such as the crime drama Taggart, paranormal series Sea of Souls and cult comedy Rab C Nesbitt. So, has it been a struggle to avoid being typecast as a children's entertainer?
Katrina responds: "I like to do other things so as not to be typecast in children's TV. I love working with children and the comedy side, so I love panto for that. But, to enjoy that even more it's nice to get your teeth into something more gritty. I have been lucky enough to have been involved in Taggart. Unfortunately Taggart's finished now, but I absolutely want to do more of that because variety is the spice of life and I love being busy. I did a lot of stage drama when I first started out and I would like to do more of that as well. Luckily I am still getting the opportunities, but it's difficult when you are so busy doing other things. I suppose if I am pigeonholed in children's TV it's meant I have been able to do something I love and that has also kept me in work for a good many years."
In fact Katrina is currently filming in Scotland for a new CBeebies family drama series called Molly and Mack about an 8 year old girl called Molly and her brother Mack, who is 18. The series is all about Molly's fun adventures with Mack, her friends and the eccentric but loving group of adults - one of them played by Katrina - who run the stalls in an indoor community market.
Katrina will be appearing as Fairy Bowbells in Dick Whittington, which runs at the Lichfield Garrick throughout the whole of December, including over Christmas. Dick Whittington, which follows Dick and his cat as he travels to London to make his fortune, is the third pantomime at the Garrick to be co-produced with Evolution Pantomimes. Katrina, who previously visited Lichfield as a child, adds: "Dick Whittington is brilliant fun, so entertaining, and is always a great spectacle, so I'm really pleased to be in it. I saw it three years ago in Canterbury by the same company, who are fantastic." Katrina's role in Dick Whittington will take the total number of pantos she's appeared in to "more than a dozen" (she didn't want to say it will be her 13th). "My work with CBeebies, which I have absolutely loved, has given me a lot more profile down south in England which has meant I've been able to perform in bigger pantos."
Dick Whittington runs at the Lichfield Garrick from Thursday 29 November to Monday 31 December 2018, with a variety of schools, matinee and evening performances. Prices start from £15 for children and £19.50 for adults and can be booked online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com or by calling the Box Office on 01543 412121. Some performances are already said to have sold out. The full cast line up will be announced in early September.