So much fun, Mark's back for more - Worthing panto

Mark Jones loved his time in panto in Worthing last year… so much so that he’s back again for 2019.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 8:48 am
Mark Jones

Mark, who has been involved in performing and producing in professional theatre and entertainment for more than 20 years, is playing Buttons in Cinderella which plays the Pavilion Theatre from November 29-January 5, with tickets on 01903 206206.

“I had a lovely time last time,” Mark says.

“It was a really good cast and crew, and it was a great show as well.

“There was chat last year as early as the press night about would I be interested in coming back next year.

“I said ‘Let’s get this out the way first and let’s talk about it later’, and I got the call in late January. It was good to know that I had this at the end of the year.

“But I suppose there was one slight reservation and that was that it had just been so good last year.

“Everyone seemed to enjoy it and we were nominated for best panto last year, so I thought do I go back?

“But yes, it would be great. This year we are going to pull out all the stops and win that award!”

Mark has certainly got clear ideas as to what makes a good panto.

There are so many ingredients which need to be mixed in just the right quantities if the great panto pudding is going to come out singing and full of flavour. It’s down to the cast to mastermind that balance on the night.

“I think it is a real mix of different things and you have got to get all of them.

“You want the traditional pantomime elements, having the dame, and you want to have good story-telling and with this you have got Cinderella, and there are not many better pantomimes than Cinderella.

“But also you have got to try to keep it current and clear and fresh and relevant.

“It is important that it is fresh. You have got to remember that for a lot of children it is their first experience of theatre, and you have got to remember that for some of those children it will be their only experience of theatre.

“But you do also need something for all the family. You have got to make sure that it is entertaining for everybody. We all know the story. We all know what is going to happen. But you have got to make sure that you are telling the story in a fresh way with some new jokes in there.”

Mark is delighted to be playing Buttons, the comedy role, a good meaty part, as he says:.

“And the great thing about Buttons is that you also get the pathos when Cinderella tells him that she doesn’t love him in a romantic way but as a brother and as a best friend. He won’t end up marrying the love of his life, and that’s how it should be, but at least he gets something.”

As Buttons, Mark will have a little extra freedom.

“There is the script and the script has got to be there, and we have all got to get through it, but with the comedy part you are given a little bit more licence, to keep it fresh with topical jokes.

“But obviously you have got to make sure that the audience are in on the joke. We have got 67 performances, and you can’t slip into in-jokes for the performers.

“But I do like to add something a little bit different each night.

““I will be thinking of things, and it is more difficult early on when you probably shouldn’t be doing them so you have to try to remember them for later in the run when everyone is more settled, and then you can start to slip a few things in…

“But I am not one of those comics that thinks he must have all the laughs.

“If someone else gets a really big laugh, then that is great because it can only help the show for everyone.

“The play’s the thing… as I think someone once said!”

Tickets for Cinderalla are available from Worthing Theatres on 01903 206206.