Panto star Steve hopes to be in seventh heaven

Steve Arnott as King Rat. Picture by Keith Pattison.
Steve Arnott as King Rat. Picture by Keith Pattison.

North Tyneside theatre veteran Steve Arnott is hoping this pantomime season will be a magnificent seven for him.

The Whitley Bay actor returns as the villain in Newcastle Theatre Royal’s production of Dick Whittington.

He plays the Rat King, a menace infesting Newcastle with the rodents he is monarch of.

Arnott, president of Whitley Bay Operatic Society, said: “This is my seventh season here in Newcastle as the villain. Previous to that, I directed and played the dame at Darlington Civic Theatre.

“It’s lovely to come home and just to be home for Christmas. In past seasons, I’ve been at the far end of the country.

“Our day off is Christmas Day, so we have two shows on Boxing Day, but it’s nice to spend it with the family.”

Arnott’s extensive make-up routine to be transformed into the Rat King includes having a prosthetic nose put on.

“Normally, I’d use some greasepaint for my make-up, but this year I’ve got a special half-mask made which sits around my face, which means it’s easy to speak, and then I have a lovely wig which is styled for me,” he said.

Panto-goers can see Arnott at the Grey Street theatre until Sunday, January 17.

Tickets cost from £12. For further details, visit www.