Pop-star Chesney Hawkes, who will be starring in Northampton's 'One and Only' Panto this Christmas, paid a surprise visit to some of the young Northampton dancers who will be performing alongside him.
Chesney, who plays the lead role in the Deco Theatre's production of 'Aladdin', which runs from November 30 to Christmas Eve, popped by to see how the start of rehearsals were going. The youngsters were using the half-term holiday to begin preparations for the show, under the watchful eye and instruction of choreographer and dancer Stuart Saint, who will also be appearing in the show.
"They're all doing very well," said Chesney. "I'm very impressed, and their enthusiasm is fantastic.
"Although I'm already preparing myself, I'll be basing myself full-time in Northampton next weekend, with rehearsals really getting underway on the 15th. But all's going well - the producers have put a great cast together, and judging by what I've seen today, we have some very talented young people who are going to make a great contribution to the show."
Stuart said Chesney's appearance was a 'wonderful surprise, and a big thrill' for the dancers.
"They were all thrilled to bits, and really excited to meet the star of the show," he said. "Chesney has been very supportive, as has Melissa Walton, his co-star, and that means a lot.
"Everyone's working very hard, and they are all very talented young performers, as Chesney saw for himself" said Stuart. "I'm extremely impressed, not just with the standards, but with the attitude and enthusiasm of them all, and they're very excited about being a part of 'the one and only' Panto in Northampton this Christmas."
Tickets start from £9.50 with special group and family discounts available. For more information, call the box office on 01604 935678 or visit www.decotickets.co.uk.