TGtS Meets...Nigel Havers
Most of us will recognise Nigel Havers as con-man Lewis Archer in popular soap Coronation Street, but now he's back playing the evil King Rat in Dick Whittington at the Wyvern Theatre this December. We caught up with Nigel to see why TV's favourite toff is so good at being bad!
What’s the appeal of appearing in panto?
When you do straight theatre, there's a fourth wall which means you can't interact with the audience, because they're not meant to be there, so I love that panto allows you to mess about and involve the audience as much as possible.
How do you feel about playing a baddie?
For me, the role of the villain is the best part, however I'm sure Joan Collins would disagree with me. We starred in Dick Whittington at the Birmingham Hippodrome a few years back and she couldn't work out why the children were booing her.
Do you feel it's important to introduce children to theatre from a young age?
I know very well, that half the audience are going to be children, who have probably never been to the theatre before, so I want to make the show as memorable for them as can be. And with a bit of luck, they'll end up coming back in the future.
How do you juggle family life and starring in panto?
I've just become a grandfather for the first time, so my daughter begged me not to do panto this year because she wanted us to spend Christmas together as a family for a change. Thankfully I have a house in the country, near Marlborough, so it meant that I could have the best of both worlds and appear in a show and be home for Christmas.
Why do you think us Brits love panto so much?
It must be in our DNA I think, I'd love to do a panto in the states and see how they'd react.
Do you prefer being on stage or screen?
I don't have a preference, although when I'm on stage I tend to say I wish I was filming and vise versa. I treat them all the same.
Why should people come and see the show?
It's a British institution, that's become more and more popular with age. I couldn't imagine Christmas without it. There aren't many things that you can enjoy as a family anymore, so this is the perfect way to spend quality time with your loved ones.