Lisburn actor and singer Rea Campbell returns to his roots this December as he takes to the Island Hall stage with Lisnagarvey Operatic Society as one of the Ugly Sisters in the Christmas pantomime Cinderella.
Rea first performed with Lisnagarvey as an 11 year old in the youth section’s 2001 production of Guys and Dolls, playing ‘Big Jule’, going on to become a stalwart of the society.
“I have really fond memories of my time with Lisnagarvey as a young performer,” said Rea.“The chance to get on stage with a local society was the opening of a door for me and it was the encouragement from Lisnagarvey and in particular Gillian McQuade that made me realise that being a performer was my dream.”
Rea also committed himself to the drama department at Laurelhill Community College and performed in the school play every year under the direction of Jane Heaney, another strong influence.
The hard work paid off and Rea studied acting from 2006-2008, at Belfast Metropolitan College. In 2009 he set off to train professionally in musical theatre at the London College of Music.
In 2012 Rea played the leading man Harry Toukarian in his last final year production of ‘Flora the Red Menace; and graduated with First Class honours.
Since then he has starred in a number of productions including Puck in Shake it Down at the Shakespeare in Town Festival, Savona, Italy, the title role in Hatch! Adventures of the Ugly Duck at the MAC and Fritzie/understudy Emcee in Cabaret at the MAC. He has performed with some of the province’s leading theatre groups and has worked with local groups as choreographer .
Later this year he will be singing alongside Brian Kennedy in Christmas in the City at the Europa Hotel.
Earlier in the autumn Rea was asked by Lisnagarvey if he would consider playing the role Griselda - one of the two Ugly Sisters - in this year’s Christmas panto Cinderella and had no hesitation in signing up.
“I was delighted to get the opportunity to perform once more with my ‘home society’,” he said. “I have always stayed involved with the company but there’s something really special about being back on the stage in The Island Hall with my good friends.
“Lisnagarvey have always been a second family to me and any success I have in my career is owed to the endless encouragement and friendship that members have given me.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Lisnagarvey Operatic Society for their endless support and for welcoming me back to the panto stage.”
The show runs from Saturday 5 until Saturday December 12 with daily evening perform at 7.30pm and afternoon performances on both Saturdays at 2.30pm.
Tickets (£10 ) may be purchased from the Box Office on 9250 9254 or online at www.laganvalleyisland.co.uk.