14 November 2011

Aladdin, the Pantomime: It should be a Les Mills class!

Actor Gavin Rutherford talks about taking on the role of the most famous pantomime dame of all, the Widow Twankey, in Roger Hall's adaptation of Aladdin, the Pantomime.

“The big one. When it comes to pantomime dames there is no more famous character than Widow Twankey and it is my privilege to be playing her this year. Roger Hall places us firmly in old Arabee (which is closer to Wellington than one might think) and lets us into the weird world of Twankey's laundry full of 'the noble classes’ dainties and the neighbours' old grundies.'

As anyone who knows me will attest, these are grounds on which I thrive. Having played Mother Hood last year, the challenge comes from making Widow Twankey a different person while still retaining the fuller figure elements that made Trelise Hood so appealing. Widow Twankey is a bit more worldly-wise in her machinations as she struggles to attain the upper middle class status she so richly deserves - and, of course, in her pursuit of a man!

This year's panto is packed full of Wellington's best (and some might say) biggest performers so the energy in the rehearsal room is frantic and hilarious. Audiences will get on a fast-paced carpet ride of song, dance and silliness filled with romance, magic and 'blimmen good-night-outness!'

The magic and characters are a huge hit with the kids and some of the best experiences we have during a panto are when the children are allowed to come up onstage. The shrieking adult laughter at the usual naughty jokes and subversive satire and the joy of the kids makes our large amount of sweat and energy more than worthwhile.

It's a great work out for us on the way to the summer months. It should be a Les Mills class!”

Roger Hall's Aladdin, the Pantomime
Aladdin, the Pantomime opens on 19 November and runs until 23 December, returning after Christmas for a short run in the New Year: 3-14 January. There will be a $25 Preview performance on Friday, 18 November and a $25 Special Matinee on Sunday, 20 November. To book, please call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or go online at www.circa.co.nz

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