For today’s blogmas instalment, I thought I would give a little update on the pantomime I am currently rehearsing for. If you read my life update post, then the last thing you’ll know is that Alex and I decided to go back and audition for our old pantomime company in Abergavenny for their upcoming production of Aladdin!
Auditions for principle roles were held in October and I am thrilled to announce that I have been cast as Princess Jasmine and Alex as the villain Abanazar (or Jafar if you’re familiar with the Disney movie). I honestly can’t explain how excited I am and how much this means to me. I have been in Abergavenny Pantomime Company since I was 11 years old and have been auditioning for principle girl since I was old enough and have never been successful. I have had a few small roles such as Dandini in Cinderella but nothing to shout about and I have always wanted a role that showcases my singing which is traditionally what principle girl is all about!
Alex and I were actually in Aladdin the last time the company performed it back in 2012, with Alex in the same role and myself as one of his evil side kicks ‘Chow Mein.’ The script is more or less the same, aside from a few tweaks, but it is so nice to be in a different role and experience the show again.
I know you’re all probably thinking that I look nothing like a Princess Jasmine apart from the long hair and you are absolutely right. However, there isn’t much diversity in my town and they had to cast based on who they have so I am glad that I have been given a shot. Alex makes the perfect panto villain and I’m so excited to be back on stage performing with him after a few years on production team – he really is such a talented guy and I love the Abanazar voice he does so am glad it is back in my life!
Rehearsals are now well underway and going well. I know that traditionally pantomimes are performed at Christmastime, but Abergavenny Pantomime Company always perform during February half term so our show dates will be the 17th-22nd February 2020 at the Borough Theatre Abergavenny. I’ve managed to get the week off work using annual leave which I will definitely need as we perform at total of 8 shows that include two matinees! Tuesdays and Thursdays are already killer with commuting from Cardiff or Hereford for uni/work and heading straight to rehearsals so I thought I would give myself a break for show week.
In terms of my role in the show, I don’t want to spoil it too much for anyone planning on coming to watch, but I am thrilled to be singing the lead for ‘Good as Hell’ by Lizzo alongside my trusty ladies in waiting Do-Pee and Wee-Wee. I am obsessed with Lizzo and have been given some badass, Beyoncésque choreography to nail too (although at the moment I just look like a clumsy potato). Self confidence hasn’t always been my forte, but I need to embody all the confidence and sass of Lizzo to get me through and give a good performance. I am a bit gutted to say that I haven’t got an official solo that’s like a traditional principle girl slower number or something where I can showcase more of my vocals, but I am looking forward to my trio, some duets with Aladdin and of course getting involved in the chorus singing!
I do need to break the news to my nan soon though. Honestly when I told my family I had been cast as Jasmine I think they were more excited than I was! My nan started crying bless her and her words were legit “I can finally see you sing a solo on stage by yourself like I’ve always wanted” which is a bit awks now but I will break it to her gently after a sherry or too at Christmas. The Borough Theatre is also undergoing a refurbishment which should make it more accessible and that means my Dad can also come! After his stroke, he has missed the last few performances and he is chuffed he will be able to see this one. In fact, I am not over exaggerating when I say that every member of my family are already banging on about tickets and when they are onsale as they can’t wait to see it. Having their support is honestly the best and I know they have been waiting as long as me to see me as a lead in the panto. Bit of a downer but there were times when I honestly never thought my grandparents or dad would get to see me as principle girl, if it ever happened, which honestly broke my heart so solo or no solo, I am so excited to do this for them.
Enough of the deep content though as this is a blogmas post after all! I am really glad to be back at Aber Panto and performing on my favourite stage. It’s so nice to have something social with a fab bunch of people to do outside of the busy demands of full time work and masters study. I also have loads of fun things with everyone coming up this week with Christmas parties and meals galore. Keep your eyes peeled for more panto updates as the weeks go on!