Wednesday, 17 December 2014

PANTO preview - Snow White at Catford

THRILLS, spills, magic, music and mayhem. Essential ingredients in any self respecting panto - and which will be in abundance in Snow White And The Seven Dwarves on at the Broadway Theatre in Catford this Christmas.
Among its star studded cast is Richard Blackwood - back at the theatre for a second season.
The Streatham-based actor, rapper and stand up comedian is reprising his role as Muddles but says this year he has been given a brand new adventure.
"Last year was my first stint in panto and I wasn't sure what to expect," he says. "It was hugely nervewracking to begin with but it was such good fun, the audience really engaged with the character and it went so well that the producers asked me back again this year.
"It was such a great honour to be asked back that I jumped at the chance."
This production will see Richard as Muddles help his princess win the heart of the dashing prince whilst trying to outwit the Wicked Queen.
"It's great to be back as Muddles," he says. "He's a great character - a real cheeky chap - and so to have a continuation of his story is really nice.
"Besides everyone loves a sequel don't they!
"Muddles is like the go between that keeps the show going so there is a lot of onus on me to keep the audience entertained between all the bits of the script and be a kind of anchor role.
"He's very funny and very honest and loves the princess. Really he wants to be the Prince Charming and each time he hopes it will be his turn - it won't happen though," he adds chuckling.
"He's a bit like me in my younger years."
Richard promises the show will feature plenty of songs, ad libs and a "great script". There will also be a lot of glitter, plenty of which ends up on Muddles.
"I do get coated in the stuff," he laughs. "It's all good fun and I take it well but I get really mucky and get a load of glue and glitter all over me. It's going to be very funny!
"There are also some great songs - we are doing some classic tunes such as Baggy Trousers which has taken me back to my childhood - but we are also going to do Pharrell's Happy which I'm sure most of the kids know."
That Richard found his way into showbiz is not a surprise given some of his family have trodden the path before him.
His uncle Junior had a successful career as a singer in the 1980s and he's related - by virtue of his father's marriage - to Streatham supermodel Naomi Campbell.
After school - he went to Links Primary in Tooting and Gorringe Park Primary in Mitcham - Richard went to university before pursuing his dream of working in the entertainment industry.
He became a regular face on the comedy circuit and was catapulted into the limelight with his own Channel 4 programme, The Richard Blackwood Show.
Appearances on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Holby City and Casualty plus the box office smash hit movie Anuvahood have kept him busy since then.
A smash hit single Mama Who Da Man followed and last year he wowed West End audiences with his role as the Donkey in Shrek at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
"I love acting - it's always been my passion - and I really enjoyed my two years as the Donkey in Shrek," he says.
"But I love stand up and have been doing it for 21 years.
"I realised quite early on that my talent was making people laugh and so panto is a natural fit for me," he says.
"However it's not easy though. Making adults laugh is easy but with kids it's much trickier and more complex - you have to be on your toes all the time.
"Kids are great, but they are totally honest and can be really tough too, so you have to be ready for their comments - and have to stay in character all the time.
"But I love it, it's a lot of fun and I can't wait to be back on the Catford stage - it's a great company, the atmosphere is fantastic and it's going to be an amazing show.
"And if they ask me I'll definitely be back again next year!"

Snow White And The Seven Dwarves is on at the Broadway Theatre, Catford until December 30. For tickets visit or call the box office on 020 8690 0002.

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