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Panto Interview

Ray Quinn

The cheeky scouser talks to Alice Rook about his experience on The X Factor, his upcoming role in Aladdin the pantomime and why he loves Poole so much

You’re due to return to pantomime as Aladdin in December. Can you tell me a little bit about the cast and what we can expect from your performance? Well to start with, there’s the fabulous Don MacLean! I am unbelievably excited about being back in Poole. I’ve bought a place here; my wife and I like to call it home. I am really looking forward to coming back after ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ who I am on the road with now. I can’t wait to be performing at Poole’s Lighthouse – I went to watch my wife there last year and I loved the hospitality there amongst everything else. The show Aladdin is so different


from anything else I have ever done. I’ve always played the Prince before so it’s going to be a lot of fun for me to play the cheeky chappy!

Do you think there is any sort of stigma attached to actors that do panto? No, not anymore. I say: ‘Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!’ Panto is great because there is a real sense that you get to know the local people and have some fun with them. This time round it’s so exciting for me because I will get to do the song- sheet which I’ve never done before. Work is work and as long as I am working then I am happy. It’s all about paying the bills

and taking my wife out for a nice meal or buying my son a little baby-grow.

How do you feel when you hear throwaway comments like ‘Panto is just for kids…’?

I don’t know that people really say that and to be honest, it’s not just for kids. Panto is a family thing – you take the kids and understand some of the jokes that the kids never would! The colourful, glitzy and magic side of panto is for the kids, but the jokes, script and the actors are for the adults. That’s what panto is all about; it’s for everyone to get involved, not just the children. It’s amazing because it entertains them for a few hours whilst

you get to sit back and relax and enjoy the show all at the same time.

Did you have a favourite fairytale when you were growing up? Aren’t fairytales for girls? I was into Power Rangers, Spider Man and Action Man and things like that. But I was taken to numerous pantomimes when I was a child – my mum would take me to The Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool. I used to go with a bag full of sweets and I always had a really good time. When you’re a kid, you don’t realise what fun actually is, and then as you grow up you look back on things and you realise all the fun you had.

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