Manor Operatic Peter Pan Interview
Exposed catches up with lead actor James Smith ahead of the Manor Operatic Peter Pan Pantomime 2014.
Hi James. Congrats on landing the lead role of Peter Pan. Excited for it?
Thanks and absolutely, I can’t wait to open on the 27th. It’s a great part to be playing and I get to fly!
The Manor Operatic pantomimes have become something of an institution in the city. And every year they seem to get better and better. Without giving away any surprises, what can we expect this year?
They definitely are and this year is no exception, and as always we are pushing the boundaries – expect to see lots of flying, big colourful chorus numbers, and even a 10ft crocodile!
What’s your background? How did you become part of the Manor Operatic family?
I started to do some theatre in sixth form and at the same time joined MOS for Sleeping Beauty in 2010 from day one I was welcomed and took under the MOS wing.
You’re playing the boy who never grew up. Any affinity with the character?
Haha well anyone that knows me would probably say I do like to mess around and act more like a one year old rather than aged 21!
What’s been your personal Manor Operatic highlights over the years?
One of my personal highlights has to be playing the Beast in Beauty and the Beast – it was a challenging part but a nice chance to be a bit nasty! Another favourite is Bill Snibson who I played earlier on this year in the classic ‘Me and My Girl’ again it was a great part and one I could really play around with.
Any funny stories? Maybe things which didn’t quite go to plan?
One blooper I will always remember is back in 2012/13 when Aladdin (Emma Holmes) forgot to bring on her magic lamp and didn’t realise until she was supposed to hand it over from around her neck, myself and Bob Spink, the panto dame, brought the audience in on the mishap straight away and it brought the house down – Emma still hasn’t lived it down.
Do you have any backstage ‘good luck’ rituals?
I don’t have any rituals as such, but I always have too have a few roundtrees randoms on hand to cure the dry mouth.
The audience always has a ton of fun… is it as much fun for you guys on stage?
They do and we aim to entertain each and everyone of them whether they are aged two or 102. When we are all on stage as a society the atmosphere is electric, we leave any problems we might have at the door, we forget what work we might have to do the next day, and we go out and give our Sheffield audiences the best theatre experience possible.
How much work goes into each production?
An immense amount of hard work goes into our productions but not just from on stage members from people behind the scenes too. From lighting and scenery to costume and sound effects all these things take very careful planning all to make our pantomime the best it can be.
Finally, can you sum up the production in three words?
Fantastic Family Fun!
Peter Pan is on at Sheffield City Hall from December 27th 2014 – January 4th 2015. For more about the Manor Operatic Society, and to get your hands on a pair of tickets, head to www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk