This will be
Kenneth's 19th pantomime in Nottingham.
not appearing in Dick Whittington, Kenneth Alan
Taylor is preparing to don an elaborate frock again this year.
Kenneth Alan Taylor, a name synonymous with pantos in the county,
is already at work preparing for his 19th panto at the Nottingham
It is only weeks
since his last performance finished.
However, as soon as one show finishes production meetings start
for the next pantomime.
18 years in panto you might wonder where he draws his inspiration
But, this year he's reworking Beauty and the Beast,
a story that he's never done as a pantomime before.
what the critics say, Kenneth still considers panto to be an art
He says, "I'm
a cheap version of Shakespeare, I keep doing the same plays over
and over again".
a cheap version of Shakespeare, I keep doing the same plays
over and over again".
For the forthcoming
show he had to invent a dame, but was pleasantly surprised that
the original text of Beauty and the Beast had two ugly sisters,
not dissimilar to another famous panto.
Unlike other productions he doesn't rely on former soap or pop stars
to draw in the crowds.
He prefers to spend the
budget on costumes and set design believing reputation is enough
to bring in the crowds.
You cannot argue with the man whose pantomimes continue to sell
out year on year.
with Kenneth Alan Taylor:
are you from, and how did you come to work with the Playhouse?
I am from London but have lived in the north of England
for 43 years. I came to the Playhouse as director 19 years ago
and stayed for seven years.
do you keep coming back to Nottingham and more specifically
When I left the Playhouse I was asked to continue presenting
pantomime, this will be the 19th consecutive year of my pantos
at the theatre.
did you choose to do 'Beauty and the Beast'?
I have a series of traditional pantos, they are presented
in a cycle, but I wanted something new, hence Beauty and the
Beast. I wanted a story that children would know, Disney has
made this subject popular, but I have gone back to the original
are people from Nottingham really like?
People from Nottingham are very warm and friendly and wonderful
to perform panto, to as they really go along with the fun.
do you enjoy working with the most?
I like working with people who are committed, do not have
egos, professional in their work, and most important - have
a good sense of humour!
much fun do you have on stage?
In panto, no two performances are the same, so a lot of
fun is had, BUT the audience must be in on the joke, I will
not stand for private jokes amongst the cast.
anyone who could ever take your place?
No one is indispensable.
do you think to the sky mirror, and did you have pigeon pie?
I love the sky mirror mainly because it reflects the Albert
Hall and so one has a constant image of the new and the old
in harmony. I do not understand the pigeon pie reference - sorry!
could play you in a performance about your life?
I have never thought about it, but I'd love Anthony Hopkins
to do it as he is such a great actor, but I doubt that it will
better or worse is Nottingham since you first began?
Nottingham as a city has improved so much in the past 19
years, super shops, restaurants and a vast improvement of late
with the loss of the subway by the theatre.
do you keep finding inspiration?
I find each year that I learn from the audiences and thus
I rewrite as soon as a panto is finished to learn the lessons
of that year.