RUGBY legend Gareth Thomas confesses he has found his panto niche as prepares to play the Genie of the Lamp in Aladdin in this year’s Venue Cymru production.
“I’ve done four pantomimes before and I’m not type casting myself,” the former Grand Slam-winning Wales captain laughs.
“But three of them have been Aladdin and I’ve been the Genie in three of them!”
His gold Genie shoes have had quite an impact and in previous years attracted a lot of attention.
“The ones I had last year I wore out in Cardiff. I had a lot of people talking about it,” he says.
Although rugby union was Thomas’s first passion, he says the fact that he achieved his ambitions has made it easier to move on.
“If you do something that you love and you feel like you’ve reached your potential when you finish, you don’t miss it,” he says.
“I do a load of different things now and I love how life is varied. I’m blessed.
“Because of rugby, it meant that I could create a career path from something I enjoy doing.
“I have a job that takes me into special schools, pupil referral units.
“I work with them on values and socially understanding people.”
Aside from rugby, panto has become the norm for Thomas and now he can’t imagine not spending Christmas on stage.
He says: “Why wouldn’t you do panto?
“When I was asked to do it four years ago, the first thing I said was ‘not a chance no way’.
“But it’s cool to be a part of something where children laugh, parents and adults will laugh.”
For more information or to book tickets, call 01492 872000 or visit www.venuecymru.co.uk