It’s that time of year again! Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is! Panto season is here!
With just a week until Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s biggest show of the year opens, we caught a few moments with Dominic Gee-Burch who stars as Dame Sherrie Trifle in the up-coming family pantomime Dick Whittington, playing from 23 November – 31 December 2023.
What do you enjoy most about panto?
The audiences, they’re electric!
Why do you think pantomime is such a favourite with UK audiences?
It’s very British, isn’t it. It harks back to so many comedies on TV growing up. I have memories of going as a kid, I think it’s my first memory of going to a theatre. With my mum, dad and brothers, and just having the best time.
What’s your earliest panto memory?
I went to the Mansfield Place Theatre in Nottinghamshire. Just over the border from where I’m from. I don’t remember what show it was. The idea that I could just shout out. I remember the Dame hitting sweets with a tennis racket. I never caught one, I was always in the balcony. It was so much fun. I remember seeing my parents laugh, me and my brother would be absolutely wetting ourselves, but seeing my parents laugh too, at the jokes I didn’t understand. It’s a lovely memory.
Do you have a favourite pantomime title?
I like the obscure ones. I was in King Arthur, I played Sir Shout A Lot. You can have so much fun with it. And… obviously, one of my favourites is Dick Whittington.
What shows have you been in before at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch?
A lot! My first was Footloose the Musical in 2017. Then I was here with the smash-hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors. In 2021 I played Björn Nastee in Aladdin, and more recently, I took on the roles of Mr Lucas and Mr Scruton in Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ the Musical. Last year I played DameSuper Nanny in Sleeping Beauty. We won the Off West End 2023 Best Pantomime award for that show!
How many instruments do you play and what are they?
This year, I’ve gone for the approach of doing as little as possible. I’m Joking! I play the guitar a lot in this show. I’m trying to convince the creative team to let me play an instrument that I can’t play. I think it would be quite entertaining. Usually, I play the guitar, bass guitar, and drums. I can also play the keyboard really badly… terribly, you don’t want to hear it.
What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?
[laughs] working. Working in this industry, the Christmas Eve show is really special. Everyone is excited, it’s really cute. You don’t get it at any other time of year. I also love seeing people, my family. I’m very excited to see my little boy opening his presents.
Will you be on Santa’s naughty or nice list?
[Intense thinking] I think I’ve been a good boy this year. Why would you imply otherwise?! What do you know that I don’t?
Why should audiences book to see Dick Whittington?
‘Coz if you don’t I don’t get paid. What else are you going to do? [laughs]. If you want see me look like my Grandma, where else are you going see that? [trying to think of a real answer]. Because it’s really funny, not me, I’m not that funny, but the rest of the cast are great! They’re all incredible musicians. They’re hilarious, and quite attractive up close, so you should buy tickets in the front row.
Don’t miss out on the magic of panto this Christmas!
Secure your seats for Dick Whittington today and enjoy a sleighful of benefits. Booking early performances (GREEN and BLUE shows are the most budget-friendly) ensures you get the best choice of dates and seats, at the lowest price, allowing you to plan your festive night out with friends and family… stress-free!
Book today, get into the Christmas spirit early and make magical memories with your loved ones. But hurry, because the best seats are flying faster than Santa’s reindeer.
Dick Whittington plays 23 November – 31 December at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. Tickets from £13 with discounts for young person’s groups, schools and PTA’s.To book, call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit queens-theatre.co.uk
Dame Sherrie Trifle- Dominic Gee Birch.
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