Anyone who has been to see pantos at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton may wonder what the cast do between performances.
Those who think they relax with a cup of tea couldn’t be more wrong – as when the curtains close, the skipping ropes come out. Staffordshire actress Niki Evans, who plays Fairy Fortune in Jack and the Beanstalk, says for almost a year she has skipped for 40 minutes every day to keep her weight down.
Now she is passing her fitness regime on to the cast at the theatre when she runs her Fat Club between performances.
Niki, aged 40, has struggled with her weight for years and even resorted to liposuction. The former X Factor finalist, from Polesworth, near Tamworth, said: “When I first started skipping I could only do it for about two seconds as it is really tiring.
“But doing it every day means I have been able to build up to 40 minutes.”
Niki’s Fat Club is popular with the cast, including dancers Nigel Ellacott, who plays Dame Trott, and Sophie Brooke-Ford, who plays Princess Apricot – and backroom staff also get involved.