Former Sugababes member Amelle Berrabah tells us what to expect from this year's Jack and the Beanstalk panto in Poole, which opens tonight

Growing up in Aldershot, former Sugababes singer Amelle Berrabah was a regular visitor to Bournemouth beach as a child, but although she has only been to Poole a handful of times she likes what she’s seen and is eager to find out more.

“We stayed in Poole with Sugababes a couple of times and it’s absolutely beautiful,” she says. “I can’t wait to have a proper look around the Quay and the old parts of town.”

Amelle is starring as the Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk, Poole’s family pantomime at Lighthouse, and she hopes to see more of what Poole has to offer during its 40-show run this Christmas. That’s when she’s not spending time with her daughter Amirah who’ll be 18 mouths old during the panto run.

“I love panto and last year was my first – Beauty and the Beast in Runcorn – but I absolutely loved it. For the last two weeks of that I was overlapping with Club Tropicana and I was on the road in that from January to August. It has been an amazing, but I’ve missed being at home and seeing Amirah every day. We bought a house in the middle of all that but by August I had only slept in it for three nights so when the tour ended I took two months off before panto rehearsals started.”

Balancing work and home life is a tall order in any walk of life, but it’s a particular challenge for performers and Amelle is the first to credit the support of her husband, record producer Marcio Sousa Rosa.

“He cleared his diary for me because he knew how much I wanted to do this. My daughter was only little when I went away and for the first few weeks all I did was stalk him because no matter how hard you try you can’t help that a bit of you is always tuned to her and what she needs, what she’s being fed, when she needs a nap.

“She came to see me last year in panto and there was not a word out of her. She knows my voice so as soon as I spoke she could tell it was me and I could see her from the stage. She’ll be coming to see me in Poole so I hope she enjoys it as much as last year.”

Amelle is playing the Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk, essentially helping to bring the story to life, but she will be hoping Amirah doesn’t pick up on her fear of giants, a result of having Jack and the Beanstalk read to her as a child.

“I know the story really well, but I have this thing that goes back to being a kid when I was really spooked by giants and a bit freaked out by the big table and furniture. My parents would often find me and my sister crawling around the house pretending we were in the giant’s house looking for good places to hide – we needed to have a plan just in case!”

With a busy work and home life there’s precious little time for anything else but that never stops fans asking Amelle when the Sugababes are going to reform. So…

“We’re talking and trying to line up diaries. I think it will happen, it’s just a question of how it will happen. Will it be a single tour to say goodbye or will there be an album as well? I don’t know, but there will be something. Watch this space!”

* Jack and the Beanstalk opens at Lighthouse on Thursday 12 December and runs until Sunday 5 January. Tickets and information on 01202 280000,