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VIDEO: Louis is 'Hook'-ed on Liverpool Empire debut
LOUIS Emerick steps into the shoes of Peter Pan's arch enemy Captain Hook for this year’s Liverpool Empire pantomime.
Joining the Wallasey-based star in the stage adaptation of JM Barrie’s classic children's tale, which runs from December 13 until January 5, is Liverpool-born X-Factor finalist and West End musical star Ray Quinn as the boy who never grew up.
Also in the cast are Radio City presenter Pete Price as captain Starkey, Leanne Campbell as Tiger Lily, Shaun Mason as Hook's bumbling sidekick Smee and Ray’s wife Emma Stephens as Wendy.
Looking forward to pantomime, Louis - who played Mick Johnson in Brookside and more recently PC Walsh in BBC comedy Last Of The Summer Wine - told the Globe: "It's my first time at the Empire and I’m so excited.
"It's an iconic Liverpool landmark, like the Adelphi and The Liver Birds, and is one of the most famous theatres in the world.
"It's funny at the moment, because there’s a play on at the Royal Court about Laurel & Hardy.
"They played at the Empire 60 years ago and to think that you’re following in their footsteps is amazing. I’m really chuffed.
"I love pantomime, anyway, and am very proud to be at the Empire."
In recent years, Hook has been played by former Happy Days' star Henry Winkler at the Empire and last year by ex-Emmerdale actor Gary Turner at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton.
Asked how he intends to play the world-famous baddie, Louis said: "Eric Potts has adapted the script and he wants Hook to have the 'Boo' factor.
"I like to come out and try to scare the kids. Shaun and Peter will come out and do the comedy bits and I’ll be the straight man, which is fine."
He joked: "I want to come out on stage and scare the kids. If I don’t get one crying then I haven't done my job.
"The pantomime rounds off what has been a good year for me. I’ve been very busy.
"I’m in the new series of ITV's Benidorm, which I've just finished recording and which is going out in January.
"Had a great time doing that and am a big fan of the show. The script is really funny, so I'm hoping the audience enjoys it."
On playing Peter Pan, Ray Quinn said: "Emma and I are really excited to be working together over Christmas in Liverpool.
"I can't wait to come home and get back on the Empire stage.
"It's one of the best theatres in the country and I love performing here to a home crowd."
Wirral-based Peter Price joked: "I can’t believe I’m playing a camp pirate; I don’t do camp. I can’t believe they’ve done this to me."
He continued: "But I’m excited though, because the cast is amazing. I’m a fan of everyone of them.
"Louis Emerick, when you think of him in Last Of The Summer Wine and as Mick Johnson in Brookside, he did have some fantastic storylines.
"He is Captain Hook, even looks like him, but because I’ve never been in Peter Pan before, I never realised that there was a problem with the hook. Kids actually think he actually has his hand off.
"The show's going to be a million laughs. It's little bits of Wendy, little bits of the Darlings and the rest is a lot of fighting, pirates, crocodiles and all that business.
"Pantomime is so important, it’s the first experience of theatre ever for children. They are our future audiences."
Tickets for the show are from 01844 871 3017.
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