Warmth is the key to being a good Cinderella, reckons Zoe Nicole Adkin who steps into her shoes at Horsham’s Capitol this Christmas (December 11-January 4)
“She is a very warm character,” Zoe says, “but she has also got to be quite cheeky at the same time. She is a lovable character.
“That’s the important thing, and she has got quite a journey to go on, to find her Prince Charming. She is iconic. She tries to befriend her sisters, but she can’t. She just wants to love – and to be loved. I think that’s the thing that you have got to get across to the children in the audience.”
In the original fairy tale, there are some really dark elements, which will obviously be missing from the panto: “We have got to keep it light-hearted. We don’t want to be terrifying the children. But for me, you have got to keep it real. You have got to be light-hearted, but you have got to keep a balance between the characters and the narrative. You have got to bring the characters to life.”
It helps that Zoe “absolutely” loves panto: “I see pantos as musicals really. You are singing and dancing and acting, and you have got to be able to put everything together. We have got some absolutely-fabulous dancers in this one, and just telling the story of it all to the children is great. You get the adults there. You get the parents and the grandparents. You get every single generation. It is so lovely.”
Zoe has done a number of pantos before: “I did Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty. My first experience of panto was at Fareham. I loved it. I think for panto, you have got to have a completely different set of skills additionally, different to musical theatre or straight plays. Panto is very different, and it is amazing to be working with such a range of actors. You get all different sorts in panto, but everyone comes together, and it is really magical. It’s very intense. You are doing a lot of shows in a short time, but you have just got to find your stamina!”
And to accept that it becomes a different thing again after Christmas: “I think you get a different energy to it after that. For me panto is about Christmas and about the New Year, about new beginnings, but some people prefer to see it before Christmas; some people prefer to see it after Christmas.”
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