TRADITIONALLY, Sleeping Beauty is just that – a beauty who sleeps – But X Factor finalist Holly Tandy has other ideas.

She says she can’t wait to play the starring role in the panto of the same name at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

“I’m looking forward to playing an amazing character with a twist… all will be revealed,” she says mysteriously. “The character is all about female empowerment. It’s a great story and a fabulous Christmas panto.”

The 18-year-old from Barnsley made the final in the 14thseries of TVs X Factor, which started in 2017, and it was sudden leap to fame.

“It was amazing,” she says. “I went straight into the X Factor auditions after leaving school. It’s been a whirlwind, but it has led me to where I am today, it’s been so much fun.”

Since then, she’s continued her singing career in other areas, explaining: “I was recently one of six singers who took part in Eurovision You Decide to represent the UK in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

“I’ve also been doing lots of charity work and this summer I released an album. Since then, I’ve been learning my lines for panto.”

Holly will star as Sleeping Beauty alongside Guildford panto favourite Kit Hesketh-Harvey, who is the Bad Fairy Carabosse, Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon as Nanny Fanny and everyone’s favourite Brummie Jamie Brook as Muddles.

She says: “It’s been great meeting the rest of the cast. Now, I can’t wait to get stuck in and see the audience smiling and enjoying the show.”

Also, as she hails from Yorkshire, the singer doesn’t know Surrey that well. “I recently recorded some songs in a recording studio near Guildford and my mum visited the town and said how lovely it is,” she says.

“It’s funny that I am now going to be here in panto. I can’t wait to look around and get to know the town, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.”

As for the show, it starts with Carabosse getting upset when she doesn't receive an invitation to Princess Aurora’s christening, and casts a curse on her. Can the Good Fair and Muddles protect Aurora? Will the Prince save the day?

Holly says: “It’s the classic story of Sleeping Beauty with lots of fun, laughter and illusions thrown in.”

Sleeping Beauty is on at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from Friday 6 December until Sunday 5 January.