Gorleston homecoming for panto girl Yasmin

When panto star Yasmin Cocca, 22, steps on to the stage at Gorleston's Pavilion Theatre in December it is sure to feel like she is returning home.

For the intimate seaside venue is where she fell in love with the theatre lights as a member of Dusmagrik young people's theatre group in productions ranging from The King and I and Oklahoma to Carousel and Oliver!.

Yasmin, who grew up in Oulton Broad and trained as a dancer at the Jane Glennie school in Lowestoft, is excited about making her panto debut in Mother Goose, running at the Pavilion from December 12 to January 5.

A former student at Gorleston's East Norfolk Sixth Form College, she has been learning her lines over the summer for the principal girl role of Jill, Mother Goose's daughter.

She said: 'Panto is going to be so exciting as each show will be slightly different, playing off the audiences.

'It is nice to come home, and some of the children in Norfolk and Suffolk primary schools where I have been teaching dance have promised to come and see me.'

Yasmin, who is currently working as an entertainer at Potter's Leisure Resort in Hopton, graduated from the Bird College of Performing Arts in Sidcup last year and has since performed at the Camden Fringe Festival in London and enjoyed a taste of television in Hollyoaks.

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'I enjoy acting as well as singing and dancing and would love to get a break into television,' she said.

'However, I would always come back to theatre and plays.'

Panto goers might well recognise the name Cocca for both Yasmin's sisters - Danielle and Gabrielle - have danced in shows at the Pavilion.

She said: 'You could say it runs in the family. My mum dances and my aunt runs a ballet school in Japan.'

When rehearsals begin on December 3, Yasmin is looking forward to playing alongside some faces that will be very familiar to the audience.

Former Anglia presenter Helen McDermott will be in her familiar role as a fairy and Tony Howes of Emmerdale fame will also be appearing.

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