A Melton actress says she is thrilled to be starring in the first major play to be staged at the revitalised Leicester Haymarket Theatre in 11 years.
Mary Garbe is a leading cast member of Treasure Island, which has been written by comedian and presenter Sandi Toksvig, and which features a pre-recorded appearance by football legend Gary Lineker.
The theatre was opened in 1973 and played host to performances from stars of stage and screen such as Emma Thompson, Julie Walters and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
With the launch of The Curve Theatre in 2007, the Haymarket closed and was boarded up until a £3.6million investment brought it back to life.
Mary (31), who attended Sherard, Sarson and King Edward VII Schools in Melton, was returning from a holiday with fiancee and fellow actor, Tom Bonam, when she heard she had landed the biggest role of her career.
“I was boarding a plane home after my fiancee had proposed to me and I was thrilled to hear I had got the part in Treasure Island,” she told the Melton Times.
“It is amazing to be in the first in-house show at The Haymarket since it reopened.
“It is also great that they are using regional actors because I am very passionate about supporting local theatres and productions.”
Mary plays the parts of Florence and Dr Livesey in the show and she is also a puppeteer, operating a pirate which was made by the creators of the iconic horse puppet in West End show, Warhorse.
Treasure Island is also directed by Warhorse director, Matthew Forbes.
Mary said: “It is amazing to have someone like Matthew involved in the production and Sandi has been in and out of rehearsals a lot.
“She is so funny and has lots of good stories.
“It’s not a panto but it has Christmas show elements in it. There is a big cheer from the audience when Gary Lineker comes on screen for his part.”
Mary cut her performing teeth with Melton Musical Theatre Company, appearing for the first time at the age of 10 in a production of Annie.
She returned to the company when was older to direct Sister Act after studying theatre and acting for a degree and a Masters.
Treasure Island has received good reviews in its preview performances this week and Mary appeared on BBC TV’s The One Show last week to promote it
Family members, including parents David and Elaine Cox, of Melton, and friends, have been along to enjoy the show, which runs until Sunday January 6.
Go online at www.haytheatre.com/whats-on/treasure-island to book a ticket.