Peter Pan pantomime stars say it is 'hardest job in show business'
A children's television star set to perform a gruelling schedule of shows has described pantomime as "one of the hardest jobs in the profession".
Richard David-Caine, of Horrible Histories, said his role as Captain Hook in Peter Pan was "intense".
BBC Strictly Come Dancing's AJ Pritchard, set for his panto debut, hoped "adrenaline" would help him cope.
Drama teacher Edward Applewaite said the "unforgiving nature of the audience" made the job unpredictable.
David-Caine is in the pantomime in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, that has a 48-performance run between Tuesday and 5 January, with two shows on most days - and three on some dates.
Pritchard, 25, who will play Peter Pan, said: "Doing a three-show day is going to be something I have never done before and that is going to be absolutely insane.
"When you do any show, your adrenaline kicks in and you bounce off the audience."
David-Caine, 32, who also stars in BBC CBeebies pirate-themed show Swashbuckle, said: "I genuinely think it's one, if not the hardest job in the profession.
"It is exhausting as you want to give every audience the same quality show, so if you are tired, you have to pace yourself.
"It's intense but you get so much back."
Will Kenning, show director, said: "There are some people who make serious money by being exceptional panto stars like John Barrowman, Paul O'Grady, and Brian Conley.
"If you see those guys, you realise how skilled they are."
Edward Applewaite, director of drama at nearby Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, said: "One of the reasons panto is considered one of the hardest jobs in show business is the unforgiving nature of the audience.
"Children have absolutely no problem letting you know if they're not enjoying something."