We caught up with our lovely talented cast of D!CK during the first week of shows for a chat about their characters and how they’re feeling about this year’s panto season:
RACHEL WARRICK-CLARKE, from Reading, is a much-loved regular in Guildford Fringe Theatre Company productions:
“Fanny Fitznicely is a young and naughty girl who has picked up the habits of her larger-than-life mother Dixie Normous Fitznicely. She enjoys the simple things in life, good looking men and a good laugh! Although she enjoys a gorgeous man, by no means does she rely on them, she’s ambitious and very independent. Much unlike Dick, she’s got a good head on her shoulders and it comes in handy during this silly tale! Pussy on the other hand is a straight-talking, no nonsense feline with a serious attitude problem. He’s rude and will rough you up if you look at him the wrong way! He’s a proper East End geezer and will put you in your place very, very quickly!
I’ve been really looking forward to feeling the buzz of an audience again! It’s been so long since I myself have seen any live theatre and hearing a live audience’s reaction to a show (especially an Adult Panto) is something very special. I couldn’t wait to work with a team of people who are passionate about live theatre and keeping it alive. It is very special for sure.
I’m feeling very positive and confident about rehearsing and performing with social distancing. I know it’s possible as we achieved this during Pinocchio Gets Wood and although we faced challenges, as a team we overcame them and became stronger as a unit. The production team worked tirelessly to put on a safe and fantastic pantomime and this show is no exception.”
JACK MARSHALL, from Copthorne in West Sussex, plays the title role of Dick:
“Dick is a loveable lad. He is curious but naive, funny …. without meaning to be. A little dim, but a hero nevertheless.
Having never done an adult pantomime before, I’m looking forward to being able to bring my sense of humour to the performance. I love a silly immature joke, they are normally the jokes I laugh at the most!
I feel very lucky to be able to do what I love in these difficult times. Sure, the social distancing may be a little tricky to work around, but it is simply something we have to deal with. Lots of people have made huge sacrifices this year, so we are all happy to do our bit whilst still getting to do what we love.
Just before lockdown I finished a contract as a Lead Vocalist on board the P&O Ventura having travelled all around Europe and spent a whole month in the Caribbean… but hey I’m sure the weather in Guildford in December can’t be too bad…?”
OLIVIA ROOKS originally hails from Yorkshire, and has recently moved to Surrey:
“I’m playing Queen Rat and Fairy Big Bells. Queen Rat is your typical panto villain . . . but with a Northern twist! Fairy Big Bells is, however, the complete opposite. I’d describe her as more of a flirty, Cockney geezer. Definitely more of a Barbara Windsor character!
I’m really loving performing again after so long. With everything that the arts have gone through this year, it is incredible to have the opportunity to perform to a live audience once again. Guildford Fringe have so many measures in place to ensure that both the audience and cast are safe. I’m feeling so excited and know that we’ll give a great show.”
PAUL TOULSON, from Bath, is enjoying donning Dame Dixie’s frock and heels:
“Dame Dixie is fabulous, sassy, quick witted, a little bit naughty but always wants the best for her dear Fanny.
I love Panto! The fact that this one is an Adult Panto and a little bit naughty is even more exciting. After the year we have all had, I think we deserve a laugh and this Panto will definitely give you that.
I was so excited to get back into a rehearsal room and to be performing a show. Yes, of course, performing a show in 2020 is a little bit different but there are measures to make sure we stay safe, fit and healthy – as well as having the most amazing and FABULOUS time!
Throughout 2020, I have been running a cake business and have been delivering cakes to people in the Bath area (@cakeandslice). I’m ready to swap my baking apron for a pair of glittery heels!”