John Thomson and Sherrie Hewson look forward to Aladdin at the Manchester Opera House

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:13 14 December 2016

Sherrie Hewson and John Thomson Photo by Phil Tragen

Sherrie Hewson and John Thomson Photo by Phil Tragen

Archant

Panto season is back…and we love it. The annual pantomime at Manchester’s Opera House this year stars John Thomson and Sherrie Hewson, who are thrilled to be back in Manchester.

John Thomson is one of TV’s most familiar and well-loved faces, his role as the hapless Pete Gifford in Cold Feet giving him the profile promised by his earlier work on The Fast Show. The revival of Cold Feet saw Pete’s character in a much darker place than we left him, a change which Thomson describes as ‘very difficult’ and needing considerable focus. It couldn’t be further from his role in panto – a seasonal gift for which this lovely, warm, relaxed and chatty man is very grateful.

‘I did my first one seven years ago, the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. I very naively thought that once I’d cut my teeth I’d be doing it every year – I was deluded! It’s taken seven years! I love it and I’m so happy to be here at the Opera House.’

It’s not all fun and games; committing to a pantomime is a serious thing.

‘Panto becomes your world. It’s twice daily for weeks, plus rehearsals. You never see your kids! It’s a British tradition and something I think everyone should experience. I think it’s rotten when parents won’t take their kids.

‘You get immediate feedback with panto and as the ‘baddie’ I get plenty! I love to get the laughs and the boos. You’re constantly informed and know if you’re getting it right; it’s symbiosis. We owe it to our audiences to make this fantasy real; kids don’t have to be told to suspend their disbelief. They’re totally in the zone and we owe it to them to make it real within the confines of the medium.’

Sherrie Hewson feels the same way. Beginning her performing career at the age of six, she considers herself fortunate never to have been out of work.

‘When I left RADA it was a time when the work was there and there were simply fewer actors. It’s very different now, with the onset of reality TV and so many more actors seeking jobs. I’m a re-inventor, a survivor. I work in my head around nine months in advance, so I always know what’s ahead. I’m already all planned up till next August. Now I think I’m in the best time of my career; it’s the best of best of times of my life.

‘One of the reasons I agreed to this panto is because it’s in Manchester. I have such memories of Manchester! I only like to do panto in a proper theatre – it needs the age and the beauty of a theatre like this one.

‘I’ve done over a dozen pantomimes now and learned how to pace myself. Twice a day six days a week for six weeks - and you have to be on the ball every minute. The young dancers and cast are all looking at you and learning from you. I learned this the hard way when in panto with Paul O’Grady. We went out one night till 6am and I remember looking at him on stage next day and thinking, “This is your fault! Never again!” You just can’t do it on a school night!

‘I have always played the wicked queen in the past, very camp so I can be horrible to children! I have never played the Genie of the Ring before, so I’ve been very curious to see how it will work.’

I have no doubts that in the hands of such a wonderful actress it will work just fine. Oh yes it will…

Aladdin plays at Manchester Opera House from Friday December 9 till Sunday January 8.

atgtickets.com/venues/opera-house-manchester | 0844 871 3018

Related articles

More from People

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hanna Miraftab, newest star of hit TV series The Real Housewives of Cheshire, shares some insight into her life

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

Jo Malone’s life story is extraordinary, her achievements form quite the list and we’re not just talking perfume here.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

Sherrie Hewson and Tony Maudsley tell us what fun is in store for fans of TV’s Benidorm when it comes to Manchester Palace Theatre on November 26 2018

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

This month’s round-up by the Real Housewives of Cheshire star

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

Founder of MediSpa Wilmslow, Dr Nyla talks about her passion for her work and expanding her business beyond the borders of Cheshire.

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Professor Luciano Nardo, consultant gynaecologist, founded the Reproductive Health Group to offer gynaecological, fertility and maternity services to women from across the country.

Read more
Thursday, September 20, 2018

Adlington Memorial Park is not only an idyllic spot in the middle of the Cheshire countryside it’s also a tranquil place for reflection.

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Our diarist Real Housewife of Cheshire Ester Dee enjoys shopping and days out with her daughter

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Stacey Forsey talks about her new cookery book: Scrumplicious Sweet Treats and living with food intolerances

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Living Edge regular newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Most Read



Latest Competitions & Offers


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Manchester Property Search