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Isolation Interviews: Damian Patton

Next up on my Isolation Interviews series, I have the superb Damian Patton. Damian is the son of Brian, who performed alongside his brother Jimmy in the double act the Patton Brothers. Damian is a comedian and entertainer.

Q - What was the first piece of theatre that you remember seeing?
A - I remember travelling to see my Dad (Brian Patton) in Pantomime. It wasn’t Christmas in my family without travelling to see a pantomime. The set, the lights the sound- as a young child it was a truly magical experience from the moment I walked into the theatre to going backstage after the show. I believe the show was Aladdin at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley with Gloria Hunniford, Carmen Silvera, The Patton Brothers and Christopher Biggins.
Q - What inspired you to get into theatre? – A - Watching my Dad from a young age inspired me to get into theatre, you can make a living by making people laugh and having a great time in the process?!? What more could you ask for! As soon as I left sixth form, I went into my first pantomime at the ‘Bolton Albert Halls’ and have not looked back since. I grew up wanting to be on the stage and it was a dream for me throughout school (apart from one term where I thought I wanted to be a chef… but the less said about that the better!) I got to fulfil my dream by appearing alongside my Dad and Uncle in my first professional show back in 2007. Watching ‘The Patton Brothers’ work is one of my earliest memories and getting to work alongside them was Fantastic.

Damian Patton

Q - Who during your career has had the biggest impact on you? – A - I know I keep talking about my dad but it’s because he really is my inspiration. So much so he was even the best man at my wedding! If he didn’t do what he did and do it so well god knows what I would have become. Even if I had still become a performer I don’t think I would have been very good, as I learnt a lot of my craft from him.
Q - What are your favourite pieces of theatre? – A - My favourite pieces of theatre are visual pieces and those that revolve around comedy/slapstick. One of my favourites has to be ‘The Play that goes wrong’ and other works by ‘Mischief Theatre’. They are so cleverly written and the execution of visual comedy is second to none.
Q - If you could revive any show from the past what would you choose to revive? – A - The original ‘Sunday night at the Palladium’. It was a groundbreaking show with variety at its heart. I find the variety shows nowadays are mostly singers, bands and stand-ups. Whereas variety truly was the star on Sunday night- Tap, slapstick, an eclectic variety of musicians, comedy routines - it had it all! Q - If you could tell your younger self something what would you tell them? – A - Hi, I have a time machine and here are the lottery numbers for this week! Q - If you could have dinner with 3 theatre-related guests (doesn't have to just be performers). Who would you invite and why? – A - Hugh Jackman- I find all his films great to watch and think he’s an incredible, versatile actor. Plus, he seems to be one of the nicest guys in the business. Lee Evans- I am not into stand-up comedy much but Lee mixes his act amazingly with physicality. You might not initially laugh at the joke itself, but you can’t help but laugh by the way he moves and the expressions he pulls. Michael BublĂ©- Another genuinely nice guy in interviews, great songs and brilliant personality. To sit and chat to these three would be great fun …But what would we eat? Q - If you were to write an autobiography of your life so far what would you call it? – A - ‘It’s not over yet’
Q - Why do you think pantomime remains popular? – A - Pantomime is entertainment for all ages; comedy, slapstick, songs and dances as well as the fairytale element. If someone in the family doesn’t like one part, they are sure to like another. It truly is the best form of entertainment as there is something for everyone.

Q - What is your favourite pantomime role? – A - My favourite role is that of a comic, be it, comedy henchman, Oddjob, Muddles or Wishy-Washy. I don’t think I can pick just one character but any comedy sidekick where I receive a laugh for falling over or getting covered in shaving foam is good for me!

Q - How are you finding this lockdown? A - Being an entertainer, we are used to having weeks off at a time in ‘quiet months’ so it is not a big change. The strangest thing was not working over Easter and half term! It’s been nice to be at home with no travelling/staying away. I think you have to find the positives. There is nothing we can do about the situation so I find there is no point in worrying about it; we just have to take it day by day.

Q - What are you doing to keep busy? – A - I make daily videos to keep myself busy and fulfil the need to entertain. I put them on my social media platforms and hopefully bring a smile to some people’s faces. There are now over 40 videos all revolving around the idea of an ‘Entertainer working from home during lockdown.’ Make sure you take a look if you want a chuckle during these long days! Q - Away from the theatre what are your other favourite hobbies? – A - I enjoy watching films; animation, action, comedies. In particular, I’m a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and like to collect the odd piece connected to it. I recently received a Marvel Cinematic Universe Monopoly set! When I finish watching a film I also always delve into the extra features to see how the adventure began for the team in front and behind the camera. Away from films I also play badminton once or twice a week, although not at the moment as the leisure entre is of course closed. Oh, and I’m a pretty good bread maker! Q - Can you tell us something we wouldn't know about you? A - Something you may not know about me is that my stage name (Patton) is not my real name. My surname is in fact ‘Elliott’, just like ‘The Patton Brothers’ and ‘The Chuckle Brothers’ all stage names with the real surname ‘Elliott’. I am in fact the 3rd Generation of ‘Patton’ - My grandad ‘Gene Patton’ was a whistler, my Dad and other uncle Jimmy Patton were ‘The Patton Brothers’ and now myself ‘Damian Patton’.
Q - Growing up with your Dad, Brian Patton, and around the Chuckle Brothers. Did that have an impact on your career? A - They have all definitely shaped my career. Growing up I watched and learnt from them exactly how to do certain routines and jokes, their presence in my life initiated my love for the art of slapstick, be that taking a custard pie to the face or falling over on cue. I find a lot of people don’t like to get messy nowadays due to cleaning up afterwards or because they have a mic on that they may have to be careful of, but it never bothers me. When it comes to slosh gags I’m very much ‘the more the merrier!’ Q - What is it about entertaining children and families that you love the most? A - Hearing the joy you’ve imparted within someone when they are belly laughing whilst watching you, this is why entertainers travel three hours for a one-off gig and back again. There is no better feeling.
If you would like to see any of my crazy antics or daily Lockdown videos head over to my social media. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… or just down the street! @DamianPatton57 or for Facebook

I'd like to thank Damian for his time in taking part in this great interview. Please visit and follow him from the links above.

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