03 January 2011

Robin Hood: Tonnes of Puns

Robin Hood, the Pantomime is back to kick start the New Year at Circa. Actor John Wraight tells DOTW about his multiple characters, the rest of the cast and what audiences can expect from the 2011 season.

DOTW: What can you tell us about the role(s) you play in Robin Hood?

JW: I play Peasant, Abbot Costello, Little John and King Richard. They have all turned out to be very different folk, and it is such fun to explore their different characteristics. Even as the season goes on I love finding out more about them, and an audience really helps, as you can really hear when your character strikes a chord. It is such an ensemble, team-feel in the cast and I love the teamwork in passing the “story ball” around.

(left to right) Jane Waddell and John Wraight (as Abbott Costello). Photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: How many Circa pantomimes have you been in?

JW: This is my second panto and I sure hope it’s not my last!

DOTW: What can you tell us about the pantomime experience? How does it differ from performing in other plays?

JW: Pantos are very similar to other plays but the big difference is that you can get away with – and relish – extreme ham! You still have to do a serious amount of work to get such a fun result.

(left to right) Gavin Rutherford, John Wraight (as Peasant) and Gerald  Bryan. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: What is the rehearsal process like for a show like this?

JW: As above, lots of hard work making things connect and of course all the singing and dancing – a great workout though, I love it!

DOTW: What can you tell us about the rest of the cast?

JW: We have a fantastic, experienced and talented cast, all bringing great skills and humour. This is one of the happiest casts I’ve worked with, it will be sad when it’s all over.

(left to right) Jamie McCaskill and John Wraight (as Little John). Photo by Stephen A'Court.
DOTW: Robin Hood ran for a full season before Christmas, and is now returning for two weeks to celebrate the New Year. Does the spirit of the show change at all from pre to post holidays?

JW: One show to shake off the Christmas cobwebs, and then we are back like we’ve never been away!

DOTW: Finally, what can audiences expect from Roger Hall’s Robin Hood?

JW: Audiences can expect a great show, full of surprises and great puns, tonnes of puns in fact, which I love. There’s heaps for all ages, the songs are great; my own kids spontaneously break into songs from the show all the time. It’s always great to hear some real belly laughs from our audiences.

Robin Hood, the Pantomime returns for a short season, 4-15 January. Get your tickets before they're gone! Call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or go online at www.circa.co.nz

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