Rebecca Wheatley swaps the long hospital corridors of Casualty for the glitz and glamour of panto this Christmas.

The actress is starring alongside Paul Nicholas in the evergreen fairytale of Peter Pan. In the Theatre Royal at Bath’s panto she is Mrs Darling, the mother of Wendy, Michael and John. When she came to Bath for the photo shoot and to meet her fellow cast members, she said how much she enjoyed the strong storyline pantomimes, which includes Peter Pan.

“It is a proper story, an adventure, a fantasy with Fairy Tinkerbell, flying, and a great spectacle,’’ she said.

Peter Pan in Bath also uses CGI which Rebecca first experienced in panto in Mansfield. “It is quite mesmerising when you are working with CGI and real people. It does give it a fantasy dimension, very futuristic, and the kids go crazy for it. As long as you keep the storytelling I think it is a wonderful addition to the panto fun.’’

This is Rebecca’s fourth panto and she loves the fact that the people are really with you, willing it to be good.

“I remember one panto with Paul O’Grady, it was Snow White and I loved doing it because it was honest theatre, escapism.

“It is all part of the production to become a purveyor of hope.’’ she said.

Rebecca is no stranger to the UK singles charts having had Top 10 hits with Everlasting Love and Stay With Me Baby. She says that in Peter Pan she has some lovely songs to sing.

“There is one I sing where Mrs Darling hints that she may have had her own adventures,’’ she said archly.

The actress says that she was singing before she got her equity card as an actress, appearing at the Cafe Royal, The Ritz and The Savoy in cabaret, as well as a televised concert at the Grand Opera House in Belfast. She says she has performed a number of times at the Royal Albert Hall but she will never forget the first time.

“I was a school girl and the hall is circular, you have to be out in the auditorium to see where you are. It is confusing and a nightmare when you get lost,’’ she said.

She also sang in Fiddler on The Roof as part of the proms for Radio 3 in front of 5,000 people at the famous concert hall.

With her acting hat Rebecca is best known for playing Amy Howard. the receptionist in the BBC drama. She was on the show for four years and says it was a special time.

“I do get nostalgic because we were all in it together, and became good friends, especially Bob Gwilym (Max Gallagher). Bob lives close to Bath and as he is such a good cook I will be inviting myself to lunch,’’ said Rebecca.

Peter Pan is at the Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday, December 13 to Sunday January 13. Tickets are from £9 - £35.50 on 01225 448844 or - Flicky Harrison