Christian Patterson is one of the most recognisable faces on the Theatr Clwyd stage and he is delighted to script his fourth panto for the Mold venue. As an actor his many credits for the company include: The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Insignificance, All My Sons and Under Milk Wood.
He won the Best Actor Award in the 2016 Wales Theatre Awards. He won the inaugural Great British Panto Awards for Best Writer and was nominated for Best Script for Dick Wittington – The Puuurfect Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto, which he wrote for Theatr Clwyd in 2019.
Currently performing in panto himself, we sat down with the writer for a quick chat:
Beauty and The Beast is finally here!! How does it feel to get to see the show up and running after its postponement?
It’s been such a long wait to get it on! I was so disappointed last year when the decision was made to cancel Beauty and The Beast, and I know Tamara held out as long as she possibly could…But now that it’s on at Theatr Clwyd and the response has been so magnificent I couldn’t be happier! It’s like an early Christmas present!
You’ve written four pantos for Theatr Clwyd and performed in many productions at the venue. What are some of your favourite moments?
Oh that is a tough question! There are definitely productions for me that stand out as being the most special of any production that I performed in at any venue. I would say that Glengarry Glen Ross was a highlight acting wise, directing Wave Me Goodbye was one of my favourite experiences of all time and writing Panto for the first time was like winning the lottery! So those are definitely my three highlights.
If you could play any character in this year’s Beauty and The Beast who would you like to play?
Well, I play Dame in Panto myself alongside Jonny Wilkes at the Regent theatre in Stoke which we’ve done for the last 14 years so I guess Dame would be the most obvious answer but writing Barry Island was so much fun that I would have loved to have done that character! Woof!
As a writer how does it feel watching the actors play around with the script, adding and changing bits?
As a Panto Writer it is the most natural thing in the world! Gags evolve…especially with current affairs so it’s totally the done thing. I’m not precious in the least as long as I know my script is in good hands…which it very much is.
We are thoroughly enjoying this year’s panto, but how soon do you start to think about next year?
I’ve been thinking about it now since Tamara told me what the title was… which we’re going to keep as a surprise until the final performance of this panto – so watch this space! It will consume my thoughts now for many weeks until it exists as a script with a first and last page and then the process starts again, and I keep going through the script and refining and refining and refining until it’s ready to be read by another set of eyes. My poor wife sits through hours and hours of panto gangs whilst I choose the exact right ones…she’s an amazing sounding board!