This year Tamworth Pantomime are putting on Cinderella in the Big Top on the castle grounds. Following the success of last year’s Jack and the beanstalk, where over 4,00 people saw the show, Cinderella is set to be a great show.
We got an interview with Alex Farrell, one of the Tamworth Pantomime Company’s managers to see what he is most excited about:
1) This will be the company’s second time performing in the big top, What’s it like not working on a regular stage? How does it affect the way you stage the performance
We love the Big Top! It’s really warm and cosy, but completely different to a theatre. In many ways it’s more magical and an immersive experience as the audience are sat all around us and a lot of the theatre happens in the audience’s imagination as it’s more difficult to change the scenery. Everybody who comes along to watch feels involved in the show, and most people are likely to get sweets when thrown out because nobody is too far from the stage!
2) What’s your favourite part of working on Cinderella?
Cinderella really is the best pantomime of them all. It’s got everything – magic, comedy, love, singing, dancing and some good old fashioned slap-stick! As well as directing the show I’m also playing one of the Ugly Sisters, so I can effectively be naughty on stage and play up my fellow cast members and the audience – and get away with it! It’s also amazing to be working with a star like Llewela Bailey who is playing the Queen. She was an ITV Central newsreader for 20 years so is a household name in the Midlands – working with her has been an absolute treat!
3) You’ve worked with the Tamworth Pantomime for years now, what keeps you coming back every year?
This is my 11th year in pantomime – oh yes it is! I ask myself every year why I keep coming back, because in many ways it is actually hard work, but at the same time pantomime is the highlight of my year! There’s nothing that can beat the feeling of performing in front of thousands of local people. It’s escapism and every show is different. That’s the beauty of pantomime – if you saw all 15 shows, you’d see something different each time!
4 )What can you tease about the show?
Each year we have a different surprise. Last year it was a 25 foot high beanstalk that grew out of the stage, and this year the highlight of the show has to be the special effects. I won’t give too much away, but when the Fairy Godmother transforms the pumpkin into Cinderella’s carriage, it really is a fantastic sight to behold!
5) How long have rehearsals been going?
We’ve been rehearsing every Sunday since September. As always, it’s a bit manic this time of year, but it’s starting to come together – and we have nearly learnt all of our lines! As they say, it will be alright on the night..
This year see the return of some familiar faces from last year like Tracey Hames-Sharpe and Tom priestly, as well as ex ITV Central news reader Llewela Bailey and I can’t wait to see it.
The show opens on the 14th of December get tickets from the box office on 01827 709618
Or online at the Tamworth arts and entertainments website
Tickets cost £14 for an adult, £9 for a child, or get a family ticket for only £42, there are both matinee and evening performances available
Don’t forget to check out their Facebook for exciting updates from the cast