Swindon Lives Christmas Panto Special – Princess Jasmine
Move over Kate Middleton; TGtS has got a new favourite royal. In this very special panto edition of Swindon Lives we speak to Agrabah's finest, Princess Jasmine. Actress and We Will Rock You star Lauren Varnham opens up about her new role.
When did you first get in to acting, and how?
I began a local dance school when I was 3 and was accepted on to the Laines Summer School Scholarship when I was 12 and was awarded the full scholarship at 16. From the aged of 10 I was 100% sure that performing was what I wanted to do.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in acting to date?
Playing Scaramouche in We Will Rock You. I watched it for the first time when I was still at Laines School and as soon as I saw Scaramouche I thought I’m going to play the part one day! And luckily I am!
Most embarrassing on-stage moment?
During one of the performances of We Will Rock You. Noel Sullivan made me laugh and we had a fit of giggles on stage but I managed to cover it up by saying “well that’s all I have to say about that” and walked off stage. Luckily it wasn’t totally irrelevant to the scene so we got away with it!
Who would be your dream Genie for the panto this year, and why? And this person could be living or not.
Bradley Cooper. Just look at his face! Amazing, gorgeous, great actor. And if he was a genie he’d have a naked top half!
Swindon is famous for its Magic Roundabout, but if you could go a magic carpet ride with anyone in the world, who would it be, and why?
My fiancé Michael Barbieri. He’s my real life Prince. I could go anywhere in the world with him and it would be amazing.
What is your favorite thing about panto?
Everything! Christmas! I love Christmas. I’d like to be Mrs Clause! From the age of 6 I’ve been to a panto every year. I love seeing the kids faces!
Have you ever performed in Swindon before? And if not, what are you most looking forward to about it?
Never. I’m looking forward to being out of London and seeing another town. I’m looking forward to going out in Swindon and staying here for a few months and really getting to know the area.
Swindon audiences are extremely appreciative - are you looking forward to inviting the children on stage or do you find it a little daunting?
I won’t find it daunting at all. I love that it would make their Christmas!
What advice would you give to anyone in the audience looking to get into acting?
Work very hard. It’s a tough industry and you have to want it, live it and breathe it! Have ambitions and dream. Go to musical and dance colleges, do you research and go to as many auditions as possible!
Describe yourself in 3 words…
Smiley. Determined. Driven.