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Interview: Stroud actor on his role in panto Dick Whittington at the Subscription Rooms

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 24, 2013

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PANTOMIMES are usually seen as fun for all the family but especially for the children.

But Dick Whittington, Daylight Theatre’s latest production, is expected to bring in more adults than kids if past shows are anything to go by.

Actor Hugh Young, born and bred in Stroud, is playing an array of colourful characters which you can catch at Stroud Subscription Rooms today.

Hugh will be playing Sarah the Grumpy Cook, the hand puppet Woofer Dog and two very opposite characters; The Lord Mayor and father of Dick Whittington’s love interest Alice, Sir Ivo Fitz Warren.

Plus he’ll also be playing the evil King Rat, a cunning character who is plotting to take over London.

As well as the Sub Rooms, the pantomime has been performed in schools across the county which Hugh says has been going very well.

“They are a wonderful audience,” he says. “The theatre specialises in young audiences so it’s always so much fun performing to them.

But the theatre does not just perform to schools during Pantomime season so how different is it to the usual productions?

“It’s really nice because more than ever they can get involved. Throughout the year we perform educational productions so it is nice to let our hair down for the pantomime.”

Puppets are the one thing that makes the panto stand out in a period where there are so many taking place throughout the county. more than most with so many taking place over the festive period.

“It’s a traditional story and adults thoroughly enjoy it with jokes for them and the children,” Hugh says.

“But also we have puppets, which is both great fun for us and the audience.

“It’s a heart-warming love story. And there is also the theme of good over evil. The only way good can prevail is with help from the audience. It’s a lovely way to get them involved.”

The feedback for the performances have been positive and Hugh is hopeful that will continue with today’s performance.

“I spoke to a teacher the other day who told me it was our best yet,” he said.

Last year the company performed classic fairytale Cinderella and it was hailed a great success.

Next up after today’s performance they set to work on two educational plays – which although pitched for children, could appeal to all ages with Hugh admitting that more adults than children tend to come to their performances.

Christmas for Hugh will, he jokes, be spent sleeping after an intensive schedule of shows.

“We’ve performed 30 shows just in December alone,” he says.

“We also came back from Germany recently where we performed Tudor Spies and Pirates so it will be really nice to have a bit of a break for a while.”

Performances take place at 11am and 2.30pm today. Tickets cost from £8. Snap them up by calling 01453 760900 or alternatively, visit

www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk/event

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