WHERE? Greenwich Theatre
WHEN? opens 22/11, press night 29/11, runs to 12/1/20
Greenwich Theatre’s annual pantomime is always one of the highlights of our festive season and so we quizzed writer/director/star Andrew Pollard (pictured above) to find out more about this year’s show which is in previews from Friday (22/11/19)
- Read on for reasons including how comedy heroes from Eric Morecambe to Beryl Reid are channelled
monstagigz (MG): The Greenwich pantomime is always one of the highlights of our festive season, what can you tell us about this year’s show?
Andrew Pollard (AP): Well, the theatre is celebrating 50 years since its re-opening in 1969 so I’ve made the panto tie in with that! We go an a rather surprising journey!
MG: How are rehearsals going?
AP: Very well. It’s the usual madness of trying to put on what is essentially a full-blown musical in three weeks! But it’s a really strong cast and some old faces who know the genre well. We’re having lots of fun.
MG: Do you prefer performing or writing?
AP: I like both equally! I’m very fortunate to get paid to do what I love. As long as I’m being creative, I’m happy
MG: What brings you back to Greenwich Theatre?
AP: I get to play with a theatre! Most of my other work, be it acting or writing, I’m part of the process, I’m writing for or performing in someone else’s vision. At Greenwich, as long as I’m within budget, the vision is mine. I get to be in control (working alongside some other great creatives). Also, Greenwich has become very special. The audience is very loyal. They love us and what we do and we love them back. It is a completely local, home-grown show.
MG: Best thing about being a pantomime dame?
AP: I get to be silly!! In most of my other acting work, I usually get cast as repressed Englishmen of some type. (I’ve spent a lot of time in Victorian frock coats!) In panto, I am outrageous and OTT and I get to be a comedian. I get to channel all of my comedy heroes from Eric Morecambe to Beryl Reid!
MG: If you could have one Christmas wish granted, what would it be?
AP: It sounds corny but that the world could be a little less suspicious and critical and a little more loving and inclusive.
MG: This year’s panto is Sleeping Beauty. If you could go to sleep now and wake up at any point in the future or past, when would it be and why?
AP: I would love to go back to either the time of Shakespeare to see a first production or Victorian London to witness Dan Leno playing Dame at Drury Lane!
MG: How do Greenwich audiences differ from other ones?
AP: That’s a little hard to say because I have only ever experienced this audience, in terms of panto, for the last 14 years! What we do get is a sense of ‘belonging’. A sense that a lot of them know us and the theatre and are cheering us on and are a big part of it as much as we are. As I said before, it has a very local feel, without I hope, new audience members feeling excluded!
MG: If you had one final message for monstagigz readers, what would it be?
AP: Well, obviously, thank you for supporting the monstagigz gang! And if you want a good laugh and great tunes with a show that caters for absolutely ALL of your family, then come to Greenwich panto!