Look who’s back! Back again to grace the Lyric stage once again in the latest Jermin Productions Panto! Funny man Adam Byard is back by popular demand for his fourth consecutive Pantomime with the Swansea based, family company.
“Christmas just wouldn’t be the same if I wasn’t dressed up in a ridiculous Pantomime costume or had less than thirty custard pies in my face just to get a quick laugh from one of many audiences. When I signed up for the first Jermin Production’s Pantomime in 2013 I didn’t quite anticipate the impact it would have on my life or that it would become a much loved festive tradition for both myself and my family.
This year I will be stepping out as Jobbing Jack (keeping the character name of JJ from last year’s Sleeping Beauty). Both Mark and Nia thought it would be better if we kept a name that children were familiar with and I couldn’t agree more. Having been in the last three Pantomimes the families and children recognise me even though I have had a different character each time, so this way if I kept the same name the children would feel like they know me each year. Also it means we get to keep our catch phrase last year which got all of the children shouting and screaming each time I came on stage.
Each time I came on stage I would shout ‘Way Hay!’ and the children would respond with ‘JJ!’… This was amazing and every child was able to pick it up! We have already tested this out at a number of our school visits and some returning schools remembered it without me even telling them! (Needless to say I was very smug about this)
I absolutely love working with the schools, I get a real buzz and always come away from them having had such a great time! I’ve always considered myself as a ‘class clown’ type of person, even when I was in school I was always the one cracking the jokes and being silly in our spare time. (I think that is why the kids like my character so much) I love being the silly, funny character because it’s so easy and often incredibly hilarious for me! Unlike the leading lady or Dick Whittington I don’t need to walk around like a perfected Disney character which means I’m able to play around with the character (This definitely comes in handy when we need to think on our feet).
Children are so unpredictable, they have no filter which often means they say the first thing that pops into their mind… This making our job extremely unpredictable. Before visiting the schools we review our script and discuss alternative outcomes like ‘What do we do if the children don’t answer back?’ or ‘What happens if a teacher won’t come up as a volunteer’. (We have to be prepared for everything!) It is so important to do this because our workshop very rarely goes to plan. There’s always one child that shouts out ‘That’s a man, why is he in a dress?’ or the very harsh ‘That’s not even funny!’. (I did warn you that they had no filter)
Whatever the outcome we always come away from the schools tour with some hilarious memories and so do the teachers. It’s always fun to see the Panto dame flirting with Mr Richards who teaches year 3 or to see JJ falling over… Some things are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!
We are doing our next lot of school visits this month and will be visiting each and every school that has booked to attend the Dick Whittington Pantomime at The Lyric Theatre. I would love to see twice as many schools this year to really build the festive buzz before Christmas! You never know… I could be arriving at YOUR school this month!