Here & Now spoke to Ian Waite and Naomi Wilkinson, who star as Dandini and Cinderella in this year’s fun-filled festive panto at the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing.
Is this your first time in Worthing?
Ian: No, it’s not! I’ve performed here many times with various theatre tours, and I was here four years ago because I came to see Camilla
[Dallerup] in Cinderella when Mark Read was playing my part. It’s kind of gone full circle!
What do you think of Worthing?
Ian: I love Worthing! It’s by the sea, what could you not like about it?
As this is your first panto Ian, what are you enjoying the most?
Ian: It’s really exciting; I love the process of learning the script and meeting my fellow cast members. They’re absolutely lovely, and that’s really important as I’m going to spend seven weeks with them!
Naomi: My favourite thing is the excited buzz from the children in the theatre. Everyone knows the traditions of panto, so they know the story and what to shout out at what moments, which makes for a magical atmosphere.
Naomi, what is your favourite thing about playing Cinderella?
Naomi: That I get to wear this lovely, sparkly ball gown! From working in television all the time, it’s nice to be in the theatre, where I can see the audience, particularly the children that watch me on TV, they can see me and you get this connection.
Lastly, what can people expect from this year’s panto?
Naomi: A magical, entertaining, fun, funny, brilliant couple of hours! It’s a lovely bit of entertainment that will get you in the festive mood and set you up for Christmas!
Ian: It’s going to be fun, there’s going to be a lot of banter, there’ll be some dancing (of course) and I’m going to be singing some songs, so if you want a premiere of that, you’ll get to see it for the first time. And if nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see if I can remember my words!