Samuel Townsend plays Numbskull (and he makes a cameo appearance as Friar Tuck 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.
I play Numbskull and basically I’m the silly character, although this time around there’s a lot of heart in the role and a lot of Numbskull’s motivations are down to his love for Maid Marian. He’s blind-sighted and makes silly mistakes throughout the show because of his love for Maid Marian. People can expect lots of slapstick from me and I’ll probably end up with lots of bruises!
Why do you think audiences love the Rock ‘n’ Roll Pantomime format so much?
I think they’re different to things that people have seen before because it’s rare that you’ll see quadruple threats in one show. It’s a talented company. This time you get to see it all as it happens, it’s part rock gig and part panto – a big family concert for everyone.
What’s your favourite thing about pantomime season?
As we get closer to Christmas it’s normally the first thing on many people’s lists, my parents will watch a panto and that’s the beginning of Christmas for them. It’s nice to see everyone relax and sink into the start of Christmas.
Why do you think that pantomime is still an important part of Great British culture?
I think for a lot of people it’s their first experience in the theatre, we have lots of school shows and that is the first time these kids will have seen anything live on stage. It’s a British tradition and I think it’s something that is very staple British format. British humour, great songs, very much a celebration.
Who are your pantomime idols?
Steve Simmonds! I didn’t see that many pantomimes when I was younger but my Uncle watched a lot of Laurel and Hardy and I think that they’ve been an inspiration.
Finally, sell the show – why should everybody buy a ticket to see Robin Hood And The Babes In The Wood?
If you’ve seen it before you know what you’re getting, it’s a rock concert with something for everybody and all the family. If you haven’t seen it before it’s really quite a spectacle.