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Katya Jones to make her stage debut in the Peterborough New Theatre's Christmas pantomime The Wizard of Oz

Strictly Come Dancing royalty will be treading the New Theatre boards in Peterborough this month as a popular professional dancer makes her stage debut.

Katya Jones, 30, who has partnered the likes of Ed Balls, Seann Walsh, Joe McFadden and most recently Mike Bushell, is playing the part of Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, which starts tomorrow (December 14).

The St Petersburg-born dancer said: “This is my first time I’ve done something like this but I’m very much looking forward to it.

Katya Jones(23327594)
Katya Jones(23327594)

“Where I’m from in Russia, we don’t have anything like pantomime.

“It’s very different to what I’mused to with scripts and singing but the set, the costumes and the scenery look amazing!

“The view from every single seat in the theatre is fantastic so the audience will feel really close to the action.”

Katya admitted the stage was new territory for her but said pantomime was the ideal medium for her to make her acting debut.

“Doing the pantomime has put Strictly into a bit of perspective,” she said.

“I’m going to be doing something that’s outside of my comfort zone but pantomime is the ideal way to start because it’s so over the top.

“If things go wrong you just get on with it and laugh it off.

“I’ve never done any proper acting before so I’m quite lucky Glinda is quite similar to me - she’s loud, sassy and has got lots of energy.

“My costume has also been specially adapted so you’ll be able to see some of my moves from Strictly!”

Katya said she realised she “wanted to do something a bit different” last Christmas so when the opportunity came up to perform in the Wizard of Oz, she grabbed it.

In preparation for the pantomime, Katya has been practising her script since July, juggling it with her demanding Strictly Come Dancing schedule.

This year, she was dancing with BBC sports presenter, Mike Bushell, but got voted out at the week eight stage.

She only met the cast for the first time last week but has spent this week throwing herself into rehearsals so she’s prepared for the curtain to come up.

“When you begin on Strictly, you never know how much spare time you’re going to have,” explained Katya.

“You’re rehearsing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then you may have extra things to do after that.

“I don’t think me or Mike expected to be paired with each other because he’s a lot shorter than me.

“But we just clicked with each other and he was really enthusiastic and brought fantastic energy.

“We both worked really hard because that’s we’ve both been doing for the last few years.”

Strictly Live commitments will mean that Katya will have to miss the opening night but other than that, she will be performing every show, with only Christmas Day off.

The Wizard of Oz at the New Theatre in Peterborough runs until Tuesday, December 31.

Tickets are priced between £12 and £24.50 and available from www.newtheatre-peterborough.com or 01733 852 992.

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