We chatted to the actor who is making his pantomime debut in the Lyric Hammersmith’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Hi Finlay, how does it feel to be making your panto debut? It’s a dream. I’m in my happy place. I was lucky enough to see a Pantomime when I was little and I’ve always wanted to perform in one since then. It’s everything I love; slapstick comedy, telling a story with a great group of people and hopefully bringing joy to young people.
What have you enjoyed the most so far being involved with Jack and the Beanstalk? How playful and supportive the cast and crew have been of each other. We are working together for the first time, yet from day one we have been vivacious, caring and of course, having lots of fun. We are laughing a lot… maybe too much? The whole team are passionate about what they’re great at, which is a wondrous environment. I hope that comes across when people see the show.
What can audiences expect from this production? Pantomime with slices of a really good theatre show. All the Pantomime gears and traditions are there and we are adding our flair to it. It’s a barrel of laughs and full of beautiful heartfelt moments. The set, the costumes, the music, the choreography and the surprises we have in store for our audiences are epic! This could be the first time people see theatre and we want to ignite a love for the world of theatre and them to come to see a show again.
What would you say the enduring appeal of pantomimes is? Pantomime is a joyful experience for everyone. It is full of things we know and love; stock characters, silly jokes (my favourite), slapstick comedy and storylines we all have an awareness of. If there’s one piece of theatre people go to see in a year it’s probably a Pantomime. They’re accessible to just about everyone. That style of performance has been around for over five hundred years so we are seeing something we can relate to. Most importantly, going to watch a Pantomime is an opportunity to scream and shout and let it all out, laugh your heads off and have a great time with the people around you.
How does it feel to be performing at the Lyric Hammersmith? Incredible. It’s an honour to be performing here. By pure chance, I walked past the Lyric Hammersmith one day and said that I’d love to perform in that theatre and it has come true! It’s a warm and inviting building, and it feels like a part of the Hammersmith community which is just wonderful. I can’t wait to experience that when audiences start to join us.
By Emma Clarendon
Jack & the Beanstalk will play at the Lyric Hammersmith from the 19th November until the 7th January 2023.