Stephen Mulhern is currently playing Jangles the Storyteller in Sleeping Beauty at the Hawth Theatre Crawley until January 4th, this interview was conducted at the press launch in September and updated Dec 15th.
Are you pleased to be back in Crawley this Christmas?
Thrilled, although I am only based in London I hadn’t been before Cinderella last year, it as my first time. A surprise really, it is so lovely. So when they invited me back for this year I didn’t need to think about it.
It’s not too far from home so easy to commute from but that’s not the point, there is something special about this theatre. It’s so friendly to perform in, you can see the audience. I love it. I didn’t think twice about coming back.
What do you think of this year’s cast?
I have worked with Hilary O’Neill (Evil Fairy Carbosse) before. Her impersonations are second to none and she is going to be amazing in the show. I have worked with Michael Batchelor (Nurse Nellie) and Ian Smith (King Barry of Bewbush) three or four times before, and obviously last year when they were the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella when I played Buttons. It’s good when you know the cast and are familiar with them. If you have one weak link in a show it can change everything but there isn’t one wink link here at all so that’s really exciting!
What did you think of the show choice?
I have seen the show before! When Evolution Pantos told me that Sleeping Beauty was going to come to Crawley I thought I would up to Sheffield last year to watch it. I was blown away by it and by the effects they have in it.
I hear that there is a dragon and lots of water.
The dragon is just phenomenal, and yes…..there are two tonnes of water!
How do you feel about that?
Hahaha, on a 3 show day I think I shall go home with pneumonia! When I watched the scene, I thought surely there can be no more water, and then – again – yet another tonne of water! You wonder where it is all going, but they have a special tank underneath the set that holds everything.
Any more spoilers?
I get to do two illusions in the show which is nice for me to do, there has been a bit more scope to do things. They haven’t just been put in for the sake of it, the script has all been really well thought out, for example one of them is an escape trick that I perform with Carabosse. You wait!
There is a local girl playing Beauty, Lauren Cocoracchio.
Yes we heard her sing today, she has a beautiful voice. I think it is really important to have someone and celebrate the fact that she is local. She looks beautiful as well. She really fits the role.
How does the panto fit into your work schedule as you are an extremely busy presenter?
Crazily busy. The bonus here is that we finish here on the 4th January and we start filming Britain’s Got Talent on the 6th. So I shall get a whole day off just to get all my stuff back home and relax.