Three Sunderland siblings make their mark on the panto world

Scott (11), Olivia (7) and Harvey (8) Blas of Roker, Sunderland, who are all featuring in pantos this year.
Scott (11), Olivia (7) and Harvey (8) Blas of Roker, Sunderland, who are all featuring in pantos this year.
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SUNDERLAND siblings are strutting their stuff in pantomimes this Christmas.

Three youngsters from the same Roker family have secured roles in two of the region’s biggest pantos this winter.

Olivia Skinner, six, will share the stage with Loose Women star Sherrie Hewson in Cinderella at the Sunderland Empire.

And brothers Scott Blas, 11, and Harvey Skinner, eight, are set to star in Peter Pan at the Playhouse, Whitley Bay.

Dad Gavin Blas, 29, and mum Denise Campbell, 28, of Roker, said they couldn’t be prouder of the children.

Gavin said: “It was a bit of a shock that they all got into pantomimes.

“It’s a first for the boys because they have only been at stage school a couple of months.

“We didn’t think they would even want to audition, so when they got the parts we were surprised – but very proud.” Scott and Harvey, who attend Kathleen Davis Stage School, have both landed roles as lost boys in the production of Peter Pan, which stars former Neighbours actor Mark Little, Joe Mangel in the soap.

And Gavin said that for Harvey, who suffers from dyspraxia, the role is “amazing”.

He added: “He lacks in co-ordination so the fact that he is dancing is fantastic.

“That he even picked it up is just amazing because his brain doesn’t send signals to his legs so he can easily fall over.

“We are over the moon.”

Olivia, who has three acting, dancing and singing roles in the Sunderland Empire production, which will run until January 5, is relishing her new opportunity.

Gavin and Denise, who are also parents to Rowen, three, and Theo, two, say they don’t know where their brood get their talent from.

Olivia studies at Kathleen Davis Centre for Performing Arts, and performs with the stage school three times a year at the Empire.

Gavin said: “She loves Sherrie Hewson. She thinks she is lovely and she actually gets to hold her hand during the performance.”

“She loves it. Mostly she does the dancing and the boys do the drama.

“They don’t get the talent from me or Denise, so we are very, very proud of them.”

Grandmother Carol Blas, of Whitburn, will be watching both pantos.

The 60-year-old said: “I’ve got five grandchildren and three in pantomime – I can’t believe it.

“They’ve booked me in to go and see them and I can’t wait.

“The whole family like to show off but we’ve never done anything like this.

“Eventually I would like to see the younger two do it too.”