ERIC Potts who is directing and appearing in Llandudno’s Venue Cymru Pantomime as Widow Twankey has perfect comic timing!

Paired with panto favourite John Evans [Wishee Washee], the duo create gales of laughter with their gags and performances.

Eric is certainly no stranger to pantomime. He is regarded as one of the country’s top pantomime dames having appeared in 29 consecutive festive shows across the country. This will be his 30th.

In June, he was appointed as artistic director of Imagine Theatre ltd, who are co-producing this year’s show with Venue Cymru.

Eric said: “I’ve being doing panto for an awful long time and this is my first one in Llandudno. The theatre is fantastic. It is such a beautiful venue and fantastic location.

Eric Potts being interviewed at Venue Cymru [with Suzanne Kendrick, coastal chief reporter]

Eric Potts being interviewed at Venue Cymru [with Suzanne Kendrick, coastal chief reporter]

“It has been a bizarre time and it is great to actually be here. There is a real buzz and real excitement moving towards the production. I was all set to go and do a shortened run of panto at the Opera House in Manchester last year and I literally drove half way to the theatre and the announcement came that we were going back to tier four and I had to turn round and go home.”

Asked about what it is like playing the pantomime dame, Eric responded: "It is a traditional role. It is an honour for me to play it. I think back to all the great names that have played it all through the years and just to be a cog in that fantastic historic wheel is great.

"I always think different ways of playing a dame - I play very much a comedy, cuddly role and I always think that if I were to stand at the front of the theatre as Widow Twankey all the kids should want to give her a hug. Not me - her, she should be like their third granny. She should be funny, be safe, warm, comforting. And yes it is a real honour to play that part and allow... in these strange times for all of us, for children to be children because they have gone through an awful lot as well.

"If we can just give them a couple of hours where they can enjoy a bit of fun and a bit of old story-telling. Just what we all need."

The Pioneer asked Eric, after such a tough year, if he would prefer to have magic lamp or magic carpet.

He smiled and replied: “In 30 years, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that.

“I love travel. My wife and I love travelling so I’d be giving up a lot with that genie but it would have to be a magic carpet - going wherever we wanted to.”

Aladdin is running at Venue Cymru from December 11 2021 until January 2 2022.

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