Q&A with Graham Mackay-Bruce.
Our next panto cast member in the spotlight is Graham Mackay-Bruce who plays the Dame, Pansy Pocock. Graham tells us all about his past Christmas productions and his charming Christmas traditions.
Have you been in a pantomime before? If so, which one(s) and what is your favourite thing about performing in one?
Yes. I’ve done three pantomimes and three ‘Christmas shows’ - two different productions of Scrooge and a version of A Christmas Carol. The pantomimes have been Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty and Jack and the Beanstalk. I played the Prince twice and a King once! This is my first Dame!! My favourite thing about performing them is the buzzing atmosphere of families enjoying it together, it's so nice to feel a happy atmosphere, and the wide-eyed amazement of children for whom it may be their first trip to the theatre.
Is there a specific performance night that you are looking forward to the most?
Quite looking forward to the adult nights actually! Never done that before. And Christmas Eve when the atmosphere is great.
Do you have any pre-show rituals to help you get into character?
Physical warm-ups really; get the body moving and the blood flowing!
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
I love Christmas trees. If I'm at home, my tradition is playing the Annie Lennox Christmas album, decorating the tree with mince pies in the oven and a goblet of red wine! I also buy a new tree decoration every year and still hang up decorations from my childhood.
What is your favourite Christmas song?
Impossible to answer: I have loads! I LOVE carols and maybe my favourite is In The Bleak Mid Winter. Favourite christmas pop song is possibly Last Christmas by Wham or Fairytale of New York by The Pogues. I was a teenager in the 80s so Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas was a biggie.
What’s your favourite Christmas film?
The black and white A Christmas Carol with Alec Guiness. Also, when I was little The Wizard of Oz was always on and it's got snow in it, so that counts!
Are you looking forward to spending the festive season in Newbury?
Yes, very much so! It's my first time.
Beauty and the Beast runs from Friday 24 November to Sunday 31 December 2023. Find out more and book your tickets here.