Richard David-Caine: ‘It’s strange that I have never actually done a panto before’

Richard David-Caine
Richard David-Caine

Richard David-Caine, known to countless kiddies as one half of the naughty pirate duo Cook and Line in the smash-hit CBeebies show Swashbuckle, had always imagined that his panto debut would see him tumble into a comedy silly-billy type role.

In fact, his first-ever panto – in Worthing this Christmas – will see him filling the baddie’s shoes.

Richard will be appearing in Jack Frost’s Frozen Christmas at Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre, from Friday, December 12, until Thursday, January 1, and Richard will be Jack, the villain determined to wreck Christmas for absolutely everyone.

“I feel that I am so meant for this genre that it’s strange that I have never actually done a panto before. This really is my first one. Last year I decided to do some presenting for the channel over the Christmas slot as opposed to doing a Christmas show. I have always wanted to get into presenting and to see whether I could do it, and it is harder to get into panto if you are not known for something.”

Now he’s ready.

“I did see some pantos when I was at school as a child, but I wouldn’t say that I was a regular panto-goer. I am Jewish so I shouldn’t really be going to Christmas shows! But we are a very liberal family, and really Christmas is all about celebrating family and being together at Christmas, which is lovely.”

Based in London, Richard admits he had never been to Worthing before the panto launch on a sunny September day.

“But it looks great, and it is lovely to be the villain. I always think that the villain must be the most fun. In all my Disney films that I watched when I was growing up, I always liked the villain best, and Jack Frost is a good one, intent on ruining Christmas for everyone.”

With Santa’s right hand-man, Billy, played by Marcus Collins, going all out to beat Frost, this snow-capped Christmas adventure is guaranteed to thaw the coldest of hearts and delight audiences of all ages.

“This year’s show follows on from last year’s show when Jack Frost had a real thing against Santa Claus. He was out to bring Santa Claus down and everything that he stands for, and he wants to be the one in the limelight, just like an actor!”

Richard, who trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, has appeared in a wide range of productions, from A CBeebies Christmas Carol to The Taming of the Shrew and The Tempest.

As well as his success on the small screen and in theatre, Richard is also a writer and performer with the critically-acclaimed comedy sketch group Four Screws Loose, selling out performances at the prestigious Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, and at the Udderbelly Festival on London’s Southbank.

Now he is relishing the chance to really let loose: “Everyone always tells me throughout my acting career ‘Play it down, Richard, play it down a bit. You are a bit big!’ But with this, I won’t have to rein it in at all. I want to play him loud and big and very theatrical, with lots of shouting and getting lots of boos!”

A bit of a hero of Richard’s when it comes to playing villains is Alan Rickman. You can expect something Rickmanesque this Christmas.

“I love his way of doing villains, the sly, droll way of talking and then shouting out when something goes wrong and then being really pleased with himself when something goes right. Those are just my ideas at the moment. I am a massive fan of Alan Rickman and the characters that he plays.”