Tim Vine On His Reasons To Play Panto

Comedian says he wants to impress his young nieces


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Comedian Tim Vine is no stranger to Chiswick as his brother Jeremy (of BBC fame) and artist sister Sonya both live in W4.

Now starring in the Richmond Theatre’s Christmas panto Aladdin, alongside pop-star turned actor Suzanne Shaw, Tim reveals one of the main reasons he chose to return to panto again this year was to impress his young nieces.

Tim Vine on stage picture by Peter Schiazza

“Richmond Theatre is perfect for pantomime and my nieces are at an age now where it’s still cool for them to come see their uncle do one, whereas in a few years time they’ll think it’s deeply uncool,” he explains, with a laugh.

“I need to increase my street cred with them because I know there is only a short window of opportunity before that will all be over.”

He is no stranger to Richmond Theatre panto as he has previously appeared in Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

As well as being one of Britain’s most popular stand-ups, Vine has also enjoyed great success with Not Going Out, the BBC sitcom he starred in with Lee Mack. So when the script for Aladdin was being put together, unsurprisingly the creative team behind the show allowed him to inject some of his own gags into the dialogue. For those who haven’t seen Vine in action before, expect his character Wishee Washee, who he describes as a “loveable idiot”, to dispense plenty of wisecracks and silly puns.

“It helps that I’ve got quite short jokes, so I don’t have to do big bits of set up and can chuck them in throughout the performance. It’s nice to be able to them en route, because it makes more sense for the story as a whole,” he adds.

As an experienced comic, Vine says he will have no problem dealing with the heckles and audience participation that are par for the panto course. In fact, he believes the interactive and anarchic side to pantomime make it “a great fit for stand-ups.”

“In comedy you have to come on stage, look the audience in the eye and speak directly to them and although pantomime is a play you are meant to do exactly the same thing and get the audience involved,” he says.

“The audience also love it when something goes awry – it’s not like Hamlet where if the actor drops the skull it can spoil the atmosphere.

“When we did Sleeping Beauty there was the dramatic moment where Beauty falls asleep for 100 years. The actress playing her did some great acting, pretending to be asleep, but as we took her to the bed she sneezed. It was quite hard to keep it together and not fall about laughing at that point.”

Whether Aladdin goes alright, or slightly wrong, on the night, there’ll be no need for audiences to hold back on the laughter, and with Vine back on board laughs are guaranteed.

Aladdin, Richmond Theatre, December 7 – January 13, 2013, for more information and to book tickets , visit www.atgtickets.com

Will Gore

December 13, 2012

Bookmark and Share