How to be a great Dame - by Garrick panto actor Dave

Messenger Newspapers: Dave Midgley Dave Midgley

“CHILDREN are more sophisticated these days” is a phrase frequently bandied about and yet pantos, which provide audiences with a hefty dose of good, old-fashioned fun are as popular as ever.

Youngsters and their families turn up in their droves to cheer the heroes and heroines and boo and hiss the baddies.

Dave Midgley is playing Widow Twankey in Altrincham Garrick’s production of Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp and he’s said there’s a golden rule when playing this popular character.

Dave said: “When I first worked for Alan Clements our director, who has been directing Panto most of his life, he gave me a very good piece of advice – don’t try and be “female”. The Dame should not be a “female impersonator” – the walk and the voice should be those of a man. That way it is much funnier.”

He added: “Otherwise, just lots of energy, lots of happiness and make friends with the kids.”

Dave said it helps to have a rapport with children if you want to be a great Dame.

He said: “I think it helps a lot. The kids have to like you so you should like them. I do like kids, and I’m not embarrassed to be ‘childish’ - on or off stage! - when I’m with them. It is also important not to talk down to them. You can be silly but not stupid. Kids.”

* Altrincham Garrick presents Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp from December 20 to January 5. Performance times vary and tickets are available from 0161 928 1677 or Altrincham Tourist Information Centre, Stamford New Road, Altrincham.

The Garrick’s Monday night two ticket for the price of one policy does not apply to this production


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