Matthew Kellett stars in Charles Court Opera’s The Nativity Panto: A Not So Silent Night at The King’s Head Theatre this Christmas.
Matthew is returning for his seventh pantomime with Charles Court Opera. His previous appearances have included d’Artagnon in The Three Musketeers, Billy in Billy the Kidd, El Tabasco in Pinocchio, Lord Conniving in King Tut, Buttons in Buttons: A Cinderella Story, and all seven of Snow White’s dwarfs in Mirror Mirror.
The Nativity Panto, starring Matthew Kellett is at The King’s Head Theatre 29th November 2019 to 11th January 2020.
You’re starring in Charles Court Opera’s The Nativity Panto at the Kings Head, what can you tell us about it?
It’s essentially a retelling of the story that started our whole Christmas tradition! It’s irreverent, satirical and very funny, whilst remaining respectful of traditional beliefs and true to the central values of the Christmas season. Anyone who’s been to a CCO panto before will know to expect highly inventive and constantly surprising versions of familiar stories and characters, all threaded together with a brilliantly fun musical score and classic panto elements like shout-outs, baking scenes and of course – audience participation!
This is your 7th time performing with Charles Court Opera, what do you love most about performing with them?
Performing the panto with CCO is always a big highlight of the year for me. John (writer/director) and David (writer/musical director) always come up with a brilliant concept for us as performers to get stuck into. As well as providing us great material to work with they also encourage ideas from the floor, so the whole thing always feels super fresh and spontaneous. Lots of performers come back for many years too, so it’s always such joy to be reunited with great friends and colleagues each Christmas.
Tell us about your character in The Nativity Panto?
I’m mostly playing Joseph, but almost everyone this year is doubling up one way or another. I’m also playing one of the kings, but others are taking as many as four or five different roles over the course of the evening. All of which are clever, interesting and unexpected takes on the characters from the original story.
What do you think this production offers audiences that other Christmas shows don’t?
CCO have become well known for their hugely original takes on unusual source material for pantos; in the past tackling things like Tutankhamun, The Three Musketeers, Billy the Kidd, even Beowulf! This, combined with the high quality and attention to detail of the musical side of the show, really helps them to stand apart. Five opera and musical theatre singers performing in a huge variety of vocal styles, singing everything live on stage and without the aid of mics, is a really exciting thing to experience in an intimate venue like The King’s Head.
Why is the Kings Head the perfect home for The Nativity Panto?
It’s really an ideal space for these shows as it’s small enough that it has that intimate, direct, boutique feel that the best fringe venues have, but large enough that there’s always a fantastic, energetic atmosphere and real sense of community and camaraderie amongst the audience. The fact that it’s also a pub, meaning plenty of opportunity for seasonal pre-show drinking, certainly doesn’t hurt!
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see The Nativity Panto?
Don’t hesitate to book up and come and see us – you won’t regret it! Hope to see you there!
Main Image: Matthew Kellett