I will make a great pig

Babe the Sheep-Pig
Babe the Sheep-Pig

“Playing a piglet which thinks it’s a sheepdog is a porker of a role.”

That’s according to a young actress who’ll be in the county for the final outdoor play of the summer at Lytham Hall on Sunday afternoon.

Jennifer Ansdell, 25, will be in the spotlight in the title role in Illyria’s production of Babe the Sheep-Pig.

Jennifer trained in Musical Theatre at the Arts Educational School in London, has revelled in playing probably the most unusual role of her career so far.

She said: “This has been my first experience of touring with a summer outdoor show and it’s a great contrast with my last role as Mrs Darling in Peter Pan or earlier parts in Orpheus and Eurydice and The Railway Children.

“The mostly glorious weather this summer has been a huge help of course, but we have enjoyed a very rewarding tour.”

Jennifer is looking forward to performing at Lytham Hall. “Lytham Hall is one of Illyria’s favourite venues on tour.

“The audience is always large and knowledgeable and the location is quiet and free from traffic noise.

“And we always get strawberries and gingerbread men when we arrive.

“One of the challenges for the whole cast, when playing in the open air, is to maintain an important sense of intimacy for the play’s quieter moments, but still to be heard. The acoustics at Lytham Hall are just perfect for this.”

Jennifer and the Illyria cast of six come to Lytham Hall close towards the end of an extensive tour which has taken them to 74 different open air venues for 86 performances in 120 days throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Holland over the four summer months.

“Stamina is needed in bucket-loads on an outdoor tour,” said Jennifer.

“And, however tired you may feel, you have to put in a top performance – each watcher only sees you once.

“We are down in Hampshire on the evening before we come to Lytham, so our schedule is, as always, demanding.

“I think we’ll all feel sad when the tour ends – it’s been a real blast.

“However we still have the challenge of three performances in Holland to look forward to in early September and I’m hoping that the new and stylish pair of Wellingtons I bought last May can remain firmly at the bottom of my suitcase.”

More than 300 advance tickets have been booked.

Jenny, above, added: “We have had wonderful weather and played in castles, stately homes, botanical gardens and even a Roman villa.

“It’s been a real education for me and I have learned countless jokes about being a Babe!”

“Bank Holiday shows are always special , so Lytham is in for a treat on Sunday, ” she said.

Tickets for the show which starts at 4 pm can be booked on line at www.uk.illyria.comor are available at the gate.