Sophie Arthur

Floral Pavillion’s Widow Twankey, Michael Chance: An Interview

Floral Pavilion’s panto, ‘Aladdin’, is still going if you’ve got a case of the Christmas blues and here’s a conversation I had with Michael Chance as Widow Twankey…

Have you ever done a panto before?
Yes, I have! Many, many times! I’ve played Widow Twankey before in fact, and I’ve played Beauty’s Mother in ‘Beauty and The Beast’, and others, of course.

What keeps you coming back to pantos?
I just love it! One of my favourite things is the first show and listening to the kids and to hear the excitement! I love that it’s still using old comedy routines and they’re ones that everyone knows because everyone grew up with it – that’s part of the magic, because it’s for everyone!

What’s one of your favourite panto moments?
One of the best things was last year, for the same production, we did ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and we had a 3D projection for the ghost gag – I have never heard kids scream so loudly in my whole life! Normally it’s one of the dancers that comes on but because it was 3D, we were worried if it was going to work, if it was going to be difficult, but it was just one of the best things I’ve ever done in panto.

If you had a lamp, what would your three wishes would be?
I tell you what the first one would be – that Brexit doesn’t happen! That’s top of my list! What else would I wish for? That people would carry on loving panto and theatre for years to come.

What’s you’re favourite part of Christmas?
Christmas dinner, I suppose! Turkey and all the trimmings – I love it and never tire of it! My mum always used to say we wouldn’t get as big a turkey that year because you’re eating it forever, and I always used to think, but I do want to eat it forever! Turkey sandwiches, turkey curry – I’d have it every day!

Do you have a favourite panto villain or hero?
Panto villain is probably Abanazar. It’s something I’d love to play. One day we’ll just swap roles [with Bill Ward] and no one will know! Panto hero? Maybe Jack in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’?

What’s your favourite panto line?
It’s behind you!

Photo Credits: Brian Roberts

For tickets to ‘Aladdin’: https://www.floralpavilion.com/en-GB/shows/aladdin/events/2

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