Social Media

Terence Frisch - Cinderella Watford Palace Theatre Interview

It wouldn’t be Christmas in Watford without the annual pantomime running at Watford Palace Theatre. This year the theatre stages Cinderella.

This year sees the production set around on New Year’s Eve in 1999. Where music loving Cinderella dances every night alone in the cellar that she calls her room, that is until her CD Walkman gives out.

Meanwhile, over at the Palace, the King vows to throw the ‘Party of the Century’ in a bid to find the Prince of Pinner a wife. And with Cinderella’s stepmother hell-bent on her daughters (Britney & Christina) marrying up, she sees this as their golden opportunity…

Returning to Watford once more is the town’s favourite Dame
Terence Frisch who this year plays Fanny G. We caught up with him to discuss the show.

Welcome back for another wonderful pantomime season. What memories of pantomimes do you have from your childhood/early life? 

Actually, as a child I never went to a pantomime.  My introduction to it came through being in a local am-dram group and performing with them. I was in my 20's before I saw one, Salisbury Playhouse, 1989 I think!

What can you tell me about this years production of Cinderella and your role as Fanny G? 

This year is a bit different for me as I'm playing the Fairy Godmother rather than the usual Dame.  I don't imagine I'll be that different, but at least this time it's not me who gets slopped!

It’s now your 11th year performing at Watford Palace, why does this theatre in particular keep you coming back?

Because they ask me!  It's my local main theatre, as I live in Harrow, so it's very close to home which is wonderful.

Do you take any inspiration from other great Dames or do 
you always find you own from the script and the costumes?  

I suppose it's a combination, I've seen some wonderful performances and worked with some great Dames when I was playing Idle Jack/Buttons  type characters (Dougie Mounce & Jeffrey Holland spring to mind).  I'm more of an old-fashioned Dame in a way, and probably follow the likes of Terry Scott or Arthur Askey in style , though I'd never suggest I was in their class.  I worked with Roy Hudd for a while and he told me I was like an old-time music-hall style comic.  Mind you, much of it is in the writing and we're always trying to tell a story; at the end of the day it's an exaggerated play.

How early in the process do you get the costumes and do you get any say in them? 

I don't have any input, other than my measurements and that I won't wear heels haha! I have a fitting a couple of months beforehand but only get to use them at tech.

How much freedom do you get for ad-libing when you’re performing in pantomime? 
Not as much as I'd like, that's for sure.  It has to be pretty tight to the script for cues, but there some room for added bits.  If something comes up unexpectedly, you have to respond, you'd be mad not to, that's one of the joys of live theatre - being in the moment and sharing that experience together.

How do you prepare for the pantomime season and the schedule of shows? 

To be honest, I always forget to!  I usually get to a week before rehearsals a rush around trying to get things done, it's mad.

What is your favourite thing about pantomime season?

The audience at this time of year; it's magical.

What keeps you inspired as a creative? 

All sorts of things.  Today, the joy of working at something together; the joint endeavour.

What would you hope an audience takes away from seeing Cinderella?

A smile, and a warm feeling in their tummies.

Cinderella runs at Watford Palace Theatre from 30th November until 31st December. Tickets are available from

Post a Comment


Theme by STS