Jade acts on impulse to entertain the children

Jade Willis from Leyland ahead of her first show through her new theatre company Peekaboo Players
Jade Willis from Leyland ahead of her first show through her new theatre company Peekaboo Players
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A Leyland actress best known for sending shivers down spines as a creepy performer has created a children’s theatre company to bring smiles to little faces throughout the Easter season.

Jade Willis, 22, who has taken on some of the most grotesque character roles as a scare performer with AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment, has now launched her own children’s theatre company, called PeekabooPlayers.

Jade, from Dunkirk Lane, said: “I’ve done theatre work with children in the past and loved it.

“Although this is very different from scare acting, it’s just as thrilling as the pleasure always comes from audience response.”

The themed entertainment company is set to put on short and interactive panto-style performances for primary school-aged children in host venues or for private parties.

The company’s first show, The Princess and Mr Rabbit, opens on Friday, April 12, at Rascals Party and Play Centre in Walton-le-Dale.

A former Worden Sports College pupil, Jade has developed the business alongside other acting roles and voluntary work with Help Direct, where she assists in developing creative activities.

“Creating PeekabooPlayers has been in the back of my mind for a while,” she said.

“But I’ve only now found the time to fit it in between other acting work and creating entertainments for the people and groups at Help Direct.

“It is great to finally see my vision become a reality and the response I have been getting from everyone has been overwhelming.”

She admits that establishing the new business has been a massive learning curve though, as it is something she has never done before.

Although she knew how to write scripts and source actors for the show, she had to put a ‘resourceful head’ on to tackle the business side of the company.

She said: “Approaching local businesses to host the show was perhaps more scary that any of the parts I’ve ever played!

“I was definitely out of my comfort zone and it was very nerve-wracking contacting people with my idea.”

Damian North, owner of Rascals, saw the potential of the business, and Jade also got support from an online graphic design firm, AJStudio, to create the PeekabooPlayers’ logo for her Facebook page.

Jade added: “I sourced actors through professional online sources and held auditions, then I’ve had to buy costumes and do cast fittings and I’ve spent many late nights script-writing and even painting polystyrene eggs for an Easter egg hunt as part of the show!

“But it’s all been great fun and I can’t wait for the show now. I’m also very keen to develop PeekabooPlayers further and do more children’s shows with other local businesses.”

Details and tickets for The Princess and Mr Rabbit are available at www.facebook.com/peekabooplayers.