Thursday, 8 September 2016

A Princely Chat With Stephen Fletcher

Image Source: Made Up
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Provided By: Liverpool Empire Theatre

After speaking to Jorgie Porter, who will play Snow White at the Liverpool Empire Theatre this winter, we wanted to hear from her future Prince! So, we caught up with Stephen Fletcher, who will be taking on the time-honoured role of Prince Charming ...

Tell us about your role in Snow White.

Well, I play the love interest of Snow White, the Prince, Prince Charming; that's usually his title!

I understand that you have previous experience working with the Liverpool Empire at panto season.

Yes, I've done one panto before, with Cilla Black in 2008, where I played the Prince again. That was good; it was nice to meet Cilla Black, and other Scouse legends like Les Dennis and Ted Robbins. That was a while ago now, so it's good to be back at the Empire this Christmas.

What are some of your other highlights in your theatre career so far?

I'd done bits and bobs before that panto, but it was a real honour to be cast for a show at the Empire, as it's the jewel in Liverpool's theatre scene. I've done a lot of theatre stuff here, there and everywhere: since 2008, I've done a lot of work at the Royal Court, and I wrote a show there last year called Mam! I'm 'Ere! And I've done bits of telly in between, so I've done odds and sods.

You mentioned your own show Mam! I'm 'Ere! Tell us more about that.

Because a lot of us didn't have a job over Christmas time, I had the time to write a spoof show called Mam! I'm 'Ere! It's obviously a spoof of Mamma Mia! The difference is that the main character is looking for her mum rather than her dad. I wrote the story based around the cast who would be involved, I worked in a few disco songs and sold out over Christmas; there were around 10,000 people in total who came to watch it. Then, the Royal Court did a co-production of it with me last summer, and we had 23,000 people come out to see it then. It was a great family show, so I'm really proud of that one.

What would you consider to be the most unusual project that you've worked on in theatre?

Well, I've done loads of random things; as an actor, you get asked to do lots of workshops before a play has been written while the idea is being developed, so to create a play, sometimes directors will get you to do lots of weird and wonderful things, like roll around floors or improvise, but as an actor, you've just got to go along and do it. There have been moments where I've thought "I didn't expect to be in this scenario!" Like chatting backstage with Cilla Black, talking about her time at the London Palladium; that was definitely going in my memory bank. And when I've worked in London on and off, I've met people that you'd never think that you'd get to meet, so those kind of things are weird and wonderful for me, really.

Were you a fan of panto growing up?

Yeah, I think my first memory of theatre was pantomime. I used to work at the Chester Gateway Theatre as a carpenter, so I used to help build the sets. So, I went to watch one of the pantos with my family there, so that sticks out. One of my first memories of the Empire was a panto about Mr. T; I remember seeing that with my family way at the back of the Gods, but that's still stayed with me.

What can the Liverpool audience expect from Snow White?

Well, it's always a spectacle. With First Family, the company who are running the show, it's traditional that people who come will know what to expect, with the catch phrases and stuff. It'll be a feel-good family show.

Snow White will be delivering festive fun at the Liverpool Empire from Saturday December 10 to Saturday December 31. To book your tickets, click here.

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