Jasmine Storm interviews Snow White (Charlotte Haines) and Prince Charming (Dale Mathurin).
Me: Just to let you know, I am recording this. I was once interviewing… who was I interviewing?
Dale: Harrison Ford
Jasmine: Unfortunately not. But if you can get me in, I’d love to.
Dale: I’ll have a word.
Jasmine: It was Joanne Clifton from Strictly. And it didn’t record and I had to try to remember everything.
Charlotte: Oh no. that’s not ideal.
Jasmine: so, thank you for taking the time to talk to me.
Dale: You’re welcome.
Jasmine: What do you love about Panto?
Charlotte: For me personally, I grew up going to panto every single Christmas eve. It was a family tradition for us and I just think its an amazing way to get families together and to get kids in theatre as well, because it’s normally the first thing they see. That’s why I love panto. It’s a massive family celebration.
Dale: To second that. I think panto is a massive celebration and an introduction to most people’s theatre experience. Families of all ages are coming. So, you’ve got kids in theatre for the first time, hearing stories, on a grandiose epic large stage. I think it’s the perfect way to introduce people to the Christmas spirit.
Jasmine: And sometimes, you get old people in their 80’s and 90’s coming along.
Charlotte: Oh yeah. All ages.
Dale: That’s right
Jasmine: When you get hooked on panto, you get hooked for life.
Charlotte: I do think you’re right there.
Dale: That’s true.
Charlotte: When you love it you tend to always come back and you’ve got jokes for all ages. I think that’s why so many come.
Jasmine: What is your favourite panto?
Dale: Snow White
Charlotte: Obviously Snow White. Because I’ve done it so many times.
Jasmine: I saw you do Cinderella
Charlotte: Yes Cinderella. You’ve seen it? Aww you saw that. That was a good year.
Jasmine: I love Snow White as well. In fact, when I went to Walt Disney World, I had my child with me and I pushed him out the way so I could have my photo with Snow White. I am the worst mother in the world.
Charlotte: Yeah, move out the way ha ha.
Charlotte: You gotta do what ya gotta do ha ha
Jasmine: Absolutely. So how does it feel to be cast as a Prince and a Princess?
Dale: I’ve got a really good co-star.
Charlotte: Stop. It’s of course, flattering isn’t it.
Dale: It’s the reason I come to work.
Charlotte: It’s flattering. It’s nice that they trust us to take on the roles that a lot of people look up to, isn’t it?
Jasmine: Especially for the little kids; you’re the guys they are coming to see.
Charlotte: Aww absolutely.
Dale: I never thought of it quite like that. But yes, I guess so. But you’re the type of character (facing Charlotte) …
Charlotte: Snow White would not be the same without Prince Charming.
Charlotte: So, you are important. Don’t worry.
Jasmine: What would be your dream role or dream show if you could do anything?
Charlotte: I actually prefer the older musicals, classical like Rodgers and Hammerstein. They’re my personal favourites. Any kind of show like that to be honest. I love My Fair Lady; I’m always getting told ‘you should play Eliza’. That’s definitely up there as one of the dream roles.
Dale: I want to do Arron from Titus Andronicus. So, if the Royal Shakespeare Company’s listening, please help me out. I’d love to play that role at least once.
Jasmine: If you were asked to go onto a reality show, which one would you choose and why?
Dale: A reality show? Ermm. I don’t think I would. No, I don’t think I would go
Charlotte: It’s really not Dale’s thing
Jasmine: Not even Gogglebox?
Dale: Maybe Gogglebox. Yeah, let’s say Googlebox.
Jasmine: ‘Cause that’s easy. That’s just talking about people on TV.
Dale: Kinda like this right?!
Jasmine: It’s not like you gotta eat insects in the jungle.
Charlotte: Well on that note, mine actually would be ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and the reason is because I’m so scared of everything, I feel like I would walk out there braver. And that’s genuine, yeah, I would love to. I have to get famous first. I’m not quite there. But if they ask, I would love to. I’d just get stuck in. I think it would take away a lot of fears.
Jasmine: It’s the last thing I would want to do. I’m with Dale.
Dale: Yeah thanks ha ha
Charlotte: I genuinely would do it. It would be a life experience you would never get anywhere else.
Jasmine: You could say that. Ha ha.
Jasmine: Charlotte, I’ve read that you often sing in care homes to people with dementia. I think it’s a lovely thing to do. What inspired you to do that?
Charlotte: True story. My nanny had Alzheimer’s and I used to go and visit her in the homes. And I just remember it always being really sad. And everyone who visits just felt sad. And I wanted to bring some joy to that. I remembered hearing they had activity managers, who put on different things like quizzes or bingo, and I just thought why not utilise the singing training I’ve had, and bring joy to people who need it. Its one of the most fulfilling things, out of all the shows I do, that’s what I love doing most because you can help bring back memories.
Jasmine: That dementia choir programme they did on tv shows the difference it makes and the importance of singing for people with dementia.
Charlotte: Yeah. It’s so important and I’ve got so many beautiful stories. You’ll be singing and the carers will say ‘we haven’t seen them sing or remember something for such a long time’ and all of a sudden, they are singing along to you. It’s a really fascinating job.
Jasmine: Dale, I’ve noticed that you’ve done quite a lot of Shakespeare, how does panto compare?
Dale: Panto…it requires more…
Jasmine: It’s really opposite, isn’t it?
Dale: ha ha yes. Its still a lot of discipline. In a way they are both forms of storytelling. Children’s stories that are inspired by the likes of Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm. These are ancient tales, as ancient as Shakespeare himself.
Jasmine: Tales as old as time. 😉
Dale: Tales as old as time, one might say.
Jasmine laughs wrong panto.
Dale: But there’s a lot more singing and a lot more dancing and a lot more audience participation in these shows than the shows of Shakespeare.
Jasmine: That’s all my questions. Thank you for talking to me.
Charlotte: Thank you. It was nice.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 10 Dec 2022 - 8 Jan 2023.
If you missed Jasmine's interview with Rob Rinder, you can catch up here.