Steve Simmonds plays Nurse Nelly Nightmare in Stafford Gatehouse Theatre’s pantomime, Robin Hood And The Babes In The Wood – here, he tells Break A Leg all about it… oh yes he does!
Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, tell us about your character.
My character is called Nurse Nelly Nightmare and the audience can expect me in a dress because I’m the Dame and I’ll have a lovely big frock. You’ll get a lot of jokes from me, fast humour and throughout the show I turn up and destroy everyone on stage, that’s my job!
Why do you think audiences love the Rock ‘n’ Roll Pantomime format so much?
I think they like it because it has everything, it’s got the actors playing instruments, live on stage so it feels a bit like a gig. There’s always something to look at, it’s busy and there’s a different sort of energy.
What’s your favourite thing about pantomime season?
I’m a bit of a sucker for Christmas so I love Christmas week when the kids are getting really excited and they’ve finished school. We’re there to make their Christmas slightly better, which adds to the build up of Christmas which is cool.
Why do you think that pantomime is still an important part of Great British culture?
It’s traditional isn’t it, I remember Norman Wisdom play Buttons at Southend Cliffs Pavilion. Panto is part of people’s lives, it’s something that families do as a family outing, it’s a good place to get together.
Who are your pantomime idols?
I remember watching Norman Wisdom and being young enough to not know who he was but realising he had something about him, he was in his sixties then when I was watching him fall over, it was hilarious and he was absolutely brilliant. Les Dawson as the Dame too.
Finally, sell the show – why should everybody buy a ticket to see Robin Hood And The Babes In The Wood?
People should come and see the show because its unique in comparison to other pantomimes, it’s not got the big names but the music makes up for that. It’s a feast for the eyes and the ears.