Lisburn actor Rea flies into Neverland

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Lisburn actor Rea Cambell-Hill will be flying onto the stage of the Lyric Theatre for this year’s Christmas show Peter Pan.

This exciting new musical of Peter Pan, adapted by Paul Boyd from the play by JM Barrie, runs from November 29 – January 4 and it will certainly be an ‘awfully big adventure’ for all the family.

Rea, who also starred in last year’s Christmas show at the Lyric Theatre, is delighted to be taking on the role of the youngest Darling sibling Michael, who sets off to explore the magical work of Neverland.

From a young age, Rea loved the theatre and was determined to make his dream of being a professional actor come true. “The first time I ever performed was at Pond Park Primary in the school choir,” recalls Rea. “When I was primary school we went to see one of Laurelhill Community College’s shows and that was when I knew that was the school I wanted to go to.”

As a member of Lisnagarvey Youth Society, and later the award winning adult company Lisnagarvey Operatic Society, Read knew his future lay in the world of musical theatre and after studying at Belfast Met, he went on to complete an Honours Degree in Musical Theatre at the London College of Music.

“I considered staying in London after I graduated and I was working on a couple of things but when I came home for a visit I saw Bruiser Theatre doing Sweet Charity and it made me realise there was a place for me here,” Rea explained.

Rea has been in numerous shows all over Northern Ireland in recent years, and last year took to the stage of the Lyric Theatre in their production of Alice in Wonderland, which was directed by Paul Boyd, who is also directing Peter Pan.

Looking forward to this year’s production, Rea said: “Paul has composed a beautiful score that combines beautiful power ballads and darker, atmospheric underscoring for some of the more nail biting sings that feature the infamous Hook, captain of the Jolly Rodger. My favourite song to sing is my duet with my brother John called I wish I were a Pirate.”

Rea is also looking forward to taking to the air for this show. “The only way to get to Neverland is by flight so John, Wendy, Michael and Peter will definitely be flying,” he said. “We had a test fly on Tuesday for the first time and it was definitely a first for me. People will naturally be intrigued as to how that works. The simple answer is ‘all you need to do is think good thoughts and the one special ingredient is fairy dust’, so kids unless you have a good fairy to help you, don’t try this at home.”

Another local actor will also be joining Rea on stage. Rhiannon Chesterman, who hails from Hillsborough, will be stepping into the shoes of Wendy Darling and Rea is excited to be reunited on stage with his friend. “We were in MT4Youth back in the day and we have done shows together,” revealed Rea. “This is a reunion for us and it is really good fun.”

Peter Pan runs at Lyric Theatre Belfast from November 29 - January 4. Tickets are now available, starting from £12, online at www.lyrictheatre.co.uk or on 028 9038 1081.