The Beast’s transformation, Cinderella’s carriage, the accelerated growth of the Beanstalk, the Genie of the Lamp; none of these would exist without magic. And, things would be pretty boring without an obstacle standing in the way; enter, the Villain. The battle of good versus evil has been present since the beginning of time. It’s impossible to have one without the other, especially in a Pantomime, as these characters are responsible for driving much of the storytelling, and adding the all-important magic. Plus, these characters are able to inject more fun, interaction with the audience and flair than Principal Boy and Girl (somebody has to play it straight!).
As a child, Gregory’s favourite character in any book, film, musical or Pantomime was always the villain. He loved the heightened drama, the elaborate costumes, and the torch songs, always hoping that there wouldn’t be a ‘happily ever after’. On the other side of the fence, Lucinda wanted to be the positive influence, saving the day and wearing the glamorous dresses.
We first worked together as Fairy Rose (Lucinda) and Poison Ivy (Gregory) in Beauty and the Beast, and became a formidable team, with instant rapport… and we loved to hate each other. These good and evil characters have big dreams, with lots at stake if they don’t succeed, and between us we bring huge intensity to the drama unfolding, often finishing each other’s rhymes in the process.
Last year, the tables were turned as we swapped roles, playing Baroness Blunderbore and Spirit of the Beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. After many years in our respective roles, this was a bit of a shock to the system, but refreshing to receive the opposite reactions from the audience. For Gregory, it was lovely to actually receive cheers and applause from the school children and while it initially took Lucinda a while to stop grinning from ear to ear, she loved encouraging the audiences to boo and hiss.
Whilst it was fun to try something different and mix things up, we are both delighted to be back in our ‘normal’ roles this year in Dick Whittington – one in glittery shoes, the other in a corset and thigh-high PVC boots!