Roll-up! Roll-up! It’s the greatest show in town! Cinderella will be wowing Hexagon audiences this Christmas. Making his panto debut is Hairy Biker Dave Myers. VIVIENNE JOHNSON finds out his recipe for success in this exclusive interview.
A chance meeting at a wedding got Hairy Biker Dave Myers an invite to try out for panto.
That was last year when Dave was twinkling his toes in Strictly Come Dancing and didn’t have the time.
He was glad to find out that the offer was still open this year and he will spend Christmas playing Baron Hardup in The Hexagon’s Cinderella.
When they offered him the part Dave didn’t take long to consider it. He jokes: “It took me two nanoseconds to say ‘yes’.”
“I got the script last night. It was very exciting reading it. I’ve got some beltin’ lines. The script’s funny; it’s quite modern and the songs are up-to-date but we have all the traditional values.
“It’s a great cast with lots of good people in it. I know with Anna Williamson, the Uglies [Paul Morse and Ian Ganderton] and Jon Clegg there’s going to be a lot of energy.”
Dave’s first venture into the entertainment world was on the stage at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Barrow-in-Furnace:
“It was Jack and the Beanstalk.” remembers Dave. “I was one of the kids who gets to get up on the stage and you come off with a present. I remember the smell of the lights and the greasepaint and being on stage as a little boy, it was absolutely magical.”
He is looking forward to returning to Reading – The Hairy Biker’s tour sold out when they were previously at The Hexagon.
Dave recalls: “We did really well that night, they asked us back and we sold that out so we can’t have been that bad.”
This is the Hairy Biker’s first role acting in a panto and although he’s experiencing a few butterflies he is looking forward to working with the rest of the cast.
“The others like Liza Goddard are such experienced performers, Jon Clegg is amazingly funny, Paul and Ian, who are playing the dames, have been in pantomimes for many, many years and worked together.
“I’m looking forward to the camaraderie, being part of a team. I know when we did the photo shoot my dressing room was next door to the ugly sisters and Jon Clegg was just beyond there. We’d only just met each other – it was just such good fun.
“Being in a pantomime is a really nice way to spend Christmas. I’ll put myself in a hotel for Christmas Day. I don’t have to cook this year; I had 40 for dinner last year. I went over to Romania and the entire village turned up.
“There’s a magic to panto, I think when everyone’s excited and happy it’s just the best feeling in the world. I think if you just add the Christmas magic to that twice a day I’m a very lucky man. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Cinderella is at The Hexagon from Saturday, December 6 to Sunday, January 4. For details and tickets log on to www.readingarts.com or call 0118 960 6060.