Melinda Messenger won't be appearing in Robin Hood in Lincoln this Christmas

Melinda Messenger has been forced to pull out of this year's panto at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln
Melinda Messenger has been forced to pull out of this year's panto at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln

The New Theatre Royal Lincoln has announced that Melinda Messenger will not be playing the role of Fairy Stardust in the venue's pantomime Robin Hood this Christmas.

In a statement, Melinda said: "It is with great sadness that I won’t be able to take part in the fabulous panto this year due to a personal family situation.

"I am hoping that I can be part of the next year’s line-up instead at the beautiful New Theatre Royal.

"Wishing you all an amazing Christmas and I’m sure whoever takes my place will bring magic to the show.’

Natalie Hayes-Cowley, artistic director at the New Theatre Royal, commented: "It is disappointing to lose one of our celebrity cast members, which presents a challenge to our theatre family.

"The role of Fairy Stardust was an added character to Robin Hood, so the part is not essential the story.

"However, we are working hard to recast in the short timescale before rehearsals start.

"This year’s production will be a fantastic show with an incredibly talented cast, and we can’t wait to get started

" We accept that some things are out of our control and despite ongoing communications since being notified of Melinda’s circumstances, we respect that she must put her family first.

"We wish Melinda well and hope to work with her in the future."

CBBC pair Barney Harwood and Chris Johnson and The Voice star Zoe Hedge remain part of the starry line-up for the show.

The show runs from Tuesday, December 3 to Sunday, January 5 and tickets start from £16.50.

For tickets and show times, call 01522 519999 or click here.

READ MORE: Ian will pen this year's Trinity Arts panto.