PLAYING the villain isn’t always the most desirable role, but when it comes to pantomime there is always licence for mischief.

This is a challenge Gary Turner is looking forward to rising to when he takes to the Anvil stage as Captain Hook.

For the Emmerdale actor the art of the pantomime is all about fun, and if the actors aren’t having fun in their role this will impact the viewer experience.

“If we are having fun on stage that energy transfers across to our audience,” Turner told The Gazette.

“When it comes to pantomime there is just something really special about them as it is a high intensity type of performance and no one day is ever the same.

“There is just something really honest about it and when I speak to students looking to break into theatre I say to at least do one in your life time. Because at the end of the day, it is just fun and who doesn’t want to have fun while doing their job?”

For Turner, returning to the role of Hook is one that fits like a glove having played the role in Peter Pan twice in Basingstoke before, and overall it will be the 10th time he has played the dastardly captain.

As a founding member of the Spontaneity Shop Impro Company, part of Turner’s love for pantomime is the ability to read an audience and react.

He added: “We as a cast know that no one show is going to be the same.

“The more boisterous and vocal the crowd are the easier it makes our jobs, but it also means we have to be on our toes and make sure we react in a way that will get a laugh.”

Turner continued: “I am really looking forward to performing in front of a Basingstoke crowd once again, as some of the younger members of the audience who saw me previously may now have families of their own who they are bringing to enjoy the show.”

Performances of Peter Pan start on Thursday, 14 December with tickets ranging from £19 to £27.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit peterpan.