Meet Luke Friend, star of X-Factor and Princess Theatre

December is here already and as Christmas fast approaches, many of the English Riviera’s theatres are gearing up for their busiest time of year and everybody’s favourite, panto season.

Princess Theatre Torquay, Christmas Panto 2018

We recently caught up with X-Factor finalist and South Devon’s very own Luke Friend to find out more about his latest starring role in the Christmas panto, Sleeping Beauty at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.

Luke grew up in Teignmouth and returns to the familiar surroundings of the Princess Theatre stage where he has trodden the boards many times. There’s plenty of family friendly festive fun and frolics for the audience with a star-studded cast alongside Luke, that includes Melinda Messenger as Fairy Sparkle and Aiden J Harvey as King Eggbert The Oval.

How did you get into theatre production and performing at the Princess Theatre?

I’ve just always adored acting and being around the theatre, before I picked up the guitar, Music Theatre was definitely a passion I wanted to fulfil.

What were you doing before this? Where might people know you from?

I did the 2013 season of X-Factor and I came third, what an experience that was! And people might know me genuinely from my music and recent material I’ve released too.

What has been the highlights of your career so far?

Performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London and my first UK tour, both special and a memory I‘ll never forget.

Can you tell us about your role in this year’s Christmas panto?

So, this year we are doing Sleeping Beauty and I shall be portraying the role of the Prince. I’ve received the script and am getting to know my character, who is trying to find the love of his life, and as always, obstacles and drama get in the way of that!

Why should people visit Princess Theatre, particularly at Christmas time?

This is gonna be a ridiculously awesome production of Sleeping Beauty of course! And, we are the perfect way to get you all into the Christmas spirit!

What can people expect from the show? What is your character like? Why will they love you?

Well there is gonna be lots of contrast between good against evil. I’m on the good side as I need to find my love! And I need the audiences’ help! My character is friendly, loving and funny, what’s not to love?! hahaha.

Why do you think performing at the Princess Theatre is particularly special?​

Well it’s my home, I only live a few minutes away, and that’s a big honour!

Who is your favourite performer that you've worked with and why?

Oooooooh that’s such a tough question to answer! I had the pleasure of working with Anita Harris in my first year of Panto. She’s absolutely adorable and an incredibly warm-hearted woman. She cares.

Who is your favourite Film or Theatre Director/Producer and why?

Well, Simon Barry is wonderful to work with and I am in this year’s panto! Also, Director and Choreographer, Racky Plews, she’s directing ‘American Idiot’ and I’m in the UK tour next year. I’ve wanted to work with her for a very very long time.

Where does your inspiration come from?

That’s easy, relationships. The heart, mind and soul.

Who are your idols?

So so many to choose from but Fleetwood Mac for music and Leonardo DiCaprio for acting.

What advice can you give to young readers who are hoping to get on stage? 

Manifest, believe you are good enough and talented enough, and that’s half the battle.

Sleeping Beauty runs from Friday 14 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019 at Princess Theatre, Torquay.

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Sleeping Beauty
Performance
Sleeping Beauty

Everyone likes a lie-in, but Sleeping Beauty takes it to a whole new level. Cursed by an evil fairy she is doomed to slumber forever until she is awoken by true love’s kiss! Set your alarm clocks for this year’s fun-filled pantomime- Sleeping Beauty. The perfect festive family treat!

Princess Theatre Torquay
Theatre
Entrance of the Princess Theatre, Torquay Devon

The Princess Theatre is located on Torquay’s stunning seafront with exquisite views showing off Torbay’s scenic beauty.

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