Nicola Hume is a well known voice on local radio, having been a mainstay of the Heart Sussex breakfast show for years. This year, alongside her radio duties, she has taken up a role in the Sleeping Beauty pantomime at Horsham’s Capitol Theatre – a hometown performance. Jamie Walker spoke to Nicola about her latest foray.

How much are you looking forward to being part of the show?

Oh my god, I can’t wait.

The thing with the Capitol is that I’ve lived in Horsham for a few years now and I go to the Capitol to see panto every year.

I’ve always wanted to do it so it’s so nice to be part of the team this year.

How important is that? To be part of the community and now be performing for them?

It’s a lovely theatre and everyone that works there is great.

After seeing what they could write and put together it was a no-brainer to be part of it.

Of course you’re a well-known voice on the radio, what made you want to take the step to the stage?

Maybe because not a lot of people know what I look like, so it’s a bonus of people hearing my voice and being able to see me.

Are you a fan of Sleeping Beauty as a fairytale in itself?

Oh yeah, I’m a massive Disney fan so Sleeping Beauty is way up there.

I’ve never seen it done as panto before so I’m looking forward to seeing the storyline.

It’s a cartoon classic and the panto is never the same as the panto so it’s going to be interesting.

Is it a strange feeling meeting the cast at press calls and then not seeing them again until rehearsal?

Yeah it is quite weird actually.

When the show comes around it will be like we’re living together.

You end up sharing dressing rooms with the cast and get to know each other better than you know your own family, at least over Christmas.

Apart from people being able to see you, rather than just hear your voice, what else is it that attracted you to panto?

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a panto, I go every year to see one and it just one of those things that looks like so much fun.

I did one a few years ago and now I get to do it again.

As much as I’m going to be knackered – having to do my radio show in the morning and then go to rehearsal – I’m going to love it.

Because it’s so close to Christmas you end up feeling festive really early.

What have your Heart family made of your foray into theatre?

They’re looking forward to coming to see it.

It’s nice to know they’ve booked tickets. Tom and Jack will probably come one night and heckle me.

I did exactly the same when they did panto so it’s only right that they do.

How do you prepare for the work/rehearsal double shifts?

Well I’m haven’t got much time to myself.

The bonus of it being in Horsham is that it’s ten minutes from my house.

My plan during breaks is to go home and nap and then go back to the theatre.

With being so close to home it doesn’t feel like a big issue.

What do you think makes Sussex such a base for creativity?

You see panto all over the country, and they just move it venue to venue, but at the Capitol every show is done from scratch and the team have such a huge passion for it.

They put on such a great show and it’s not often a staple run of the mill panto.

So how did you get involved?

I emailed them. The last few year I’d been a bit all over the place but I had wanted to do panto for a year.

This came up and I got on the email and told them I was free this year and they asked me to come in for coffee.

So for anyone who isn’t too familiar with your work, what are you going to bring to the role of Sleeping Beauty?

Hopefully I’m going to be funny but I don’t know.

But the team know me so they’re writing the part for me, so you know she’s probably going to be clumsy but funny.

It’s going to be good fun.

Why is this going to be the panto to see this festive season?

Because it’s going to be spectacular.

The cast are phenomenal and have experience with panto.

The guy playing the dame is awesome and the Capitol is the place to be.

Plus the pub is over the road.