Friday, 28 June 2013

SLEEPING BEAUTY (Wolverhampton Grand Theatre) Interview with Joe Pasquale

Funny man Joe Pasquale headlines this years pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. Joe has already had a busy year, starting with an appearance on Dancing On Ice in January and before pantomime has 6 weeks in the West End production of Spamalot, a stand-up tour and a run playing Sherlock Holmes in a tour of Ha Ha Holmes

"I love to keep busy, I'm not young and we don't live forever so I'm living life to the full... I'm doing a skydive don't you know... for charity... It's like Dancing On Ice I thought right, what can I do that I can't do... Ice skating... and now I can do it... sort of! I really enjoy new challenges and at the minute I'm doing Spamalot in the West End, I grew up with Monty Python, I love it! I'm working with Bonnie Langford, she plays the Lady Of The Lake, I did panto with her about ten years ago and she invited me to see her in the show and I thought it was great and then the opportunity came up to play King Arthur (King of the Britons) and I've only got six weeks in my schedule to do it, so I jumped at the chance! You must come and see it, it's hilarious - the most fun I've had on stage! Playhouse Theatre... now until 27th July!"

You could say that Spamalot is almost like pantomime. Are these the type of shows where you belong Joe? "Definitely! I love panto, and Sleeping Beauty's a great one. It's the fifth year we've done it this year, there's me, Lucy Evans she's the one who sleeps and Ceri Dupree who's the greatest dame. On stage he's like the Queen and he's like a proper glamorous woman and then offstage he's a proper geezer with stubble and everything... and gulping pints!" 

So who is your character Muddles? "Muddles is basically the jester and there's one in every pantomime so if you don't know Muddles think Buttons in Cinderella or Wishee Washee in Aladdin - he's the same character in a different costume, jokes around, everyone loves him and he never gets the girl... What I love about these characters though is that they're funny enough, all the comedy comes from the character without having to step aside and become Joe Pasquale for a moment to get a laugh."

It has been done in pantomime before and we heard a little rumour that you might be putting the ice skates back on for Sleeping Beauty? "Yeah, the show's always evolving and this is the first year I have this new talent. It would be great if the production could handle it but nothing's decided yet... It's still a great show without it."

What is it about pantomime that you love so much? "Pantomime is most probably the first time a kid ever goes to the theatre and I think it's really important for their development. If you can get a kid into  experiencing and enjoying theatre from a young age then you've got a theatregoer for life... and that's a great thing. The trouble is now kids have got iPhones and iPads and TV shows are getting bigger and better and theatre has to compete with that for kids to like and respect it and pantomime's getting there now it really is. This is one of the best out there. I was last in a panto in Wolverhampton 1996, I've done lots of shows of other there since but I'm looking forward to coming back with a pantomime!" 

You can book to see Joe in Sleeping Beauty by clicking here. Tickets are selling fast so there's no time to snooze! Get your beauty sleep afterwards! 

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