Valley duo tread the boards

Dr Kris as Jigger, left, and Nick Gunn as Billy Bigelow on location at The Oyster and Otter, Blackburn, as Nettie's spa.
Dr Kris as Jigger, left, and Nick Gunn as Billy Bigelow on location at The Oyster and Otter, Blackburn, as Nettie's spa.
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TWO Ribble Valley performers are helping one of East Lancashire’s oldest theatre companies celebrate 100 years on stage.

Kris Wlodarczyk and Nick Gunn are two of the lead players in Blackburn Musical Theatre Company’s centenary production of the Rodgers and Hammmerstein classic “Carousel”.

Nick (20), from Langho, tackles the huge role of Billy Bigelow, while Dr Kris, of Whalley Surgery, plays the bad guy, Jigger, who leads Billy astray as he starts to settle down in life with mill girl Julie Jordan, played by Becky Worthy, from Blackburn.

Former St Augustine’s High School pupil Nick joined BMTC for its 2009 production of “Anything Goes”, playing Billy Crocker, and last year starred as Sky Masterson in “Guys and Dolls”. He also appeared as Cornelius Hackle in Clitheroe Parish Church’s Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s “Hello Dolly” in February.

Nick said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed getting my teeth into such a complex character as Billy Bigelow and I hope Ribble Valley theatre-goers are able to support us in this production.”

GP Kris, who lives in Read, was also in “Anything Goes” as gangster Moonface Martin, and “Guys and Dolls” as Benny Southstreet.

“I mainly seem to end up playing gangsters and nerdowells, so it was no surprise to be cast as Jigger,” he said.

He has been getting into character by growing a beard, but assures his patients it will be gone as soon as the final curtain falls.

“Carousel” is performed by Blackburn Musical Theatre Company at the Thwaites Empire Theatre, Ewood, Blackburn, from Monday May 7th to Saturday the 12th with performances at 7-30 p.m. nightly. Tickets cost £10 and £12 from 01245 685500.