It’s Panto time! Aladdin the pantomime opened on Thursday night at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch and after all the struggles of the past, bumper audiences are expected for this festive season. The Havering Daily took time to speak with Tom Self, the Musical Director who wrote the music and lyrics for the show.
Tom told the Havering Daily: “We are overjoyed that our Panto has returned after such a difficult time, this is a fun show which can be enjoyed by all and it’s so good to be back in live theatre”
We asked Tom how difficult it was to write both the music and lyrics for the show and how long did it take. He replied “It was both a joy and a challenge, I had to keep telling a story through the songs and try to make sure that they were catchy, so audiences could sing along. I had the idea back in April and then set about writing it all in two weeks as I like to work at pace!”
Tom went on to say that Panto is a vital part of British theatre as, for a lot of youngsters (and adults) this is their first experience of live theatre so it has to be good. There are certain traditions which have to be maintained and for the actors, Panto is fun but can also be quite a discipline with at times up to three shows a day.
We asked Tom about his musical training and we were surprised at his response “ I have had no proper musical training and play the piano by ear! I was involved in a musical production when I first started in theatre and was smitten from then on.”
We got the impression talking to Tom that he, and all the others involved are just so happy to be back on stage.Tom was involved with Robin Hood the Pantomime back in 2019 as Musical Director with Andrew Pollard the writer and Douglas Rintoul directing so a tried and tested team !
Well done to Tom and the Queen’s Theatre for providing us with another fantastic panto that will bring much needed smiles and laughs. After all, it isn’t a real Christmas with out a panto is it?
Head on down to the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch for a magical Christmas experience.