Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, Panto rehearsals have begun! With opening night just a few weeks away, we got the low down from Eamonn Fleming about what it's really like to be a Dame...
Hi Eamonn! First of all, welcome to Newbury. This will be your first time performing on the Corn Exchange stage. What drew you to audition for our pantomime?
My agent put me up for it! Seriously, I'm a jobbing actor so anything interesting is worth a look. Newbury has a great reputation for its Christmas shows, plus I have a couple of actor pals who have done the pantomime here in the past - Christian James and Bea Holland - and they both had a great time.
You have played the Dame now on a number of occasions. What is it that you enjoy most about playing this role?
It’s a license to be silly, tell jokes, improvise, interact with the audience and make people laugh.
You have been involved in acting for a significant part of your life. Was this something you wanted to do as a child or did this passion come later?
I did my first school play aged 11 and basically, I really enjoyed showing off. I didn't really think of it as a possible job until I went to university and found myself in the drama club and doing plays instead of studying. I took the hint from myself, auditioned for drama school, left university after the first year and went into full time training. I’ve been doing this job for so long now I don't actually have the skills to do anything else!
Have you had any funny or embarrassing moments on stage where something unexpected has happened?
That pretty much happens every time someone does a live show! The first time I came on stage as a Dame, I forgot to put my wig on, which was a good start. Bald bloke in a dress is an interesting ‘look’. I did a one man show once where the show started without me: lights music etc, then an empty stage. I was sat in my dressing room completely oblivious as it turned out the tannoy wasn't working.
Rehearsals started this week! Do you get excited or nervous when you begin a new job?
Bit of both, really. I’d already met most of the cast from when we shot the promotional video and they are all lovely and funny. I had a quick look around Newbury and spotted lots of nice looking places to eat and drink, so I’m sure it will all be fine!
Jack and the Beanstalk runs from Fri 30 Nov - Sun 6 Jan. Find out more
Our Adult Nights take place on 7, 8, 13,14 and 15 December.
Tickets for our Preview Performances are just £15!