Wicked witch to cast a spell on Gorleston

BOOS and hisses are music to the pointy ears of Judi Daykin, so the audience is in for a treat when she enters stage left as the Wicked Witch in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Christmas show at Gorleston Pavilion this year.

She’s already cackling with pleasure as she stock-piles green make-up ready for the role.

Most pantomime villains tend to be men, so playing the part of the baddie is a rare gift for an actress who seriously yearns to be evil, just as Judi was when she played the Gypsy Queen, in Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Sheringham Little Theatre.

Judi, from East Ruston, trained at London’s Drama Studio and joined the Bridge Theatre Company in 2001. Her first part was the mad woman in a thriller called Lady in Retirement, before going on to figure in several Bridge productions, including Agatha Christie’s The Hollow, and a couple of Noel Coward plays, Relative Values and Present Laughter.

She’s been closely involved with the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich, both acting and directing. She was in Shirley Valentine and 84 Charing Cross Road, and most recently directed the wartime drama Accrington Pals, which featured John Mangan who joins Judi to play the Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Showbiz wisdom decrees you should never work with children and animals. That being said, the Gorleston Pavilion production has 30 children and a real, live dog. Judi Daykin is happy to run the risk – after all, she has a few spells up her sleeve.

l The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is directed by Desmond Barrit and opens at Gorleston Pavilion on December 8 and runs until January 2. Tickets are available from the box office 01493 662832.