Michael Goble reckons he’s probably now reached double figures when it comes to pantomimes.
But certainly this Christmas will be his third at the Capitol in Horsham when he takes to the stage as Wishee Washee in Aladdin (December 9-31).
He is one of a group of regular panto performers at the venue.
“The attraction for me is that you know you are just going to get a big family feeling to it all,” Mike says. “I think that shows from the stage to the audience and that you can really tell when you have got a group of performers that really enjoying being together. Once you have worked together a couple of times, you know how the others will be if something happens on stage and how they will react to it. It’s almost like the Carry On films. You had this core of people that just knew how to work with each other.
“I just think that things happen for a reason. I know a lot of people within the panto world, and maybe if you are a dame you become the resident fixture on the poster. Besides, panto is great because it is the only real format in theatre where all the generations can enjoy the show together. The enjoyment the adults get from a pantomime is probably from the fact that they can see the children are enjoying it, but with a show like this you want to get everyone laughing.
“I think humour is a really big part of pantomimes, the thing that keeps it going along, but also having been involved in writing a couple of shows at the Capitol, I think I try to get the idea of an ensemble working together so that when people come to see the show you get to see everyone working equally which is how a Christmas show should be. I think sometimes with a big name that it all revolves around, it can all get a bit skew-whiff. For us, the story has to be there from start to finish. You can branch out to do a musical number or whatever, but it all really has to be there to keep the story going. You can’t be having to think that a certain performer has to have a certain amount of stage time because they are famous when the children won’t have heard of them. For me, the key thing all the time is that you have got to be thinking of the children, without the need for anyone to outweigh anyone else. It goes back to what I was saying about having a good family feeling on stage, and hopefully that comes across to the audience. And it is lovely to have mini-chats afterwards with the audience, and the parents and grandparents are asking if you will be back the next year. Christmas is an expensive time for people. People like to have a big trip out, but it is important that they know they are going to see something they know they will enjoy, so it is great when they have got a couple of performers in it that they know they enjoyed the year before.”
As well as a pantomime regular for Evolution Productions, Mike is an experienced presenter, compere and entertainer. He has entertained audiences all over the country on tours for The Science Museum Live and Guinness World Records Live.
Tickets cost £10-£20.50. Call the box office on 01403 750220 or visit www.thecapitolhorsham.com.
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