Lowestoft star looks forward to panto homecoming
- Credit: Stephen Wilson
When a talented performer took her first steps on the theatre stage, she always dreamt of landing a leading role as a princess.
And tomorrow, dreams will become reality for Chantel Morton as she stars as Snow White in a pantomime production that will enchant everyone.
Yet making it even more special for the 24-year-old, of Oulton Broad, is the fact that she will be performing once more on the Marina Theatre stage for the Lowestoft Players panto in her hometown – having spent the past few years in London being taught by top names at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and working on cruise ships across the world.
The singing, dancing and acting star has danced on a primetime ITV show, performed in front of large audiences at Wembley Arena and ExCel London and sung in Westminster Abbey and West End theatres with Italia Conti. She has also sang on cruise ships across Asia and the South Pacific, but now she is looking forward to the 'magical' feeling of performing on her hometown stage once more.
The former Dell Primary, Elm Tree Middle and Kirkley High School pupil first performed at the Marina Theatre with Lowestoft Players in 1999. She went on to perform regularly with the award-winning amateur theatre group in the children's section, with her last show at the venue in 2008.
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But between tomorrow and January 29, for nine performances, she will play the lead role as the Lowestoft Players present Snow White – a spectacular comedy pantomime for the whole family.
Miss Morton said: 'I have always danced since I was little, starting dancing as a hobby when I was four. When I was part of my first Marina panto with Lowestoft Players in 1999, back then I dreamt of being a princess on stage one day.
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'Snow White is so fun, and is great entertainment for the whole family. To be on the stage where I was all those years ago, doing what I wanted to do as a princess, its magical.' For tickets to see Snow White, contact the Marina Theatre box office on 01502 533200 or email email@example.com
Road to Success
As well as Lowestoft Players, Miss Morton used to attend the Louise Elizabeth school of dance, Cantors Theatre School and she sang in different groups. While at Kirkley High she studied in her own time for two diplomas from the London College of Music, graduating when she was just 15.
Chantel recalled: 'At that time I held the record as I was the youngest in the country to take both those exams and graduate with those qualifications.'
After passing academic A Levels at Kirkley High, she moved away to London when she was 16 in 2011 'for the first time.'
But that was only after Chantel became the first person from the area to receive a scholarship from the academy. She said: 'There were around 8,000 applicants, and they only audition a few hundred. From that 60 are accepted, with six scholarships awarded after separate auditions.
'I never expected to get into the academy, let alone receive the scholarship – it was amazing.
'All the teachers are professionals – my singing teacher was Jessie J's singing teacher, my jazz teacher was a backing dancer for Janet Jackson while my acting teacher has appeared in all the Harry Potter films.'
Chantel eventually graduated with a level six performing arts and musical theatre diploma from the world famous academy - which is the equivalent of degree. She was then successful following auditions for Princess Cruises, as she sang and danced on ships around the world. 'It was hard work on the cruise ships, but I really loved it,' Chantel said. 'Its such a great and safe way to travel and see the world doing the job you love.'
Returning to Lowestoft for Christmas, she added: 'I saw that the Players were performing Snow White, and when I came back home after being in London I auditioned and they offered me the part of Snow White
'It feels so nice to go back - I love it. It is such a great atmosphere, everyone does it because they love it. I've been lucky enough to perform in a number of places, but I get the same buzz of performing in Lowestoft with The Players.'