Agent, Director and Co-Director of Jermin Productions, Mark Jermin, spills the magic beans on this year’s GIANT Pantomime which he claims is their biggest and funniest Pantomime yet. The Swansea based business man and theatrical creative gives an insight into the hectic diary of Jermin Productions and also hints to what high energy, comedic and completely bonkers production numbers may be involved in this year’s show.
Can you believe it? We’re soon to welcome in November which means we have just ONE MONTH before our Jack and the Beanstalk Pantomime opens to our first audience in Port Talbot’s 800 seat Princess Royal Theatre. This year, we have produced more events than ever before which has meant that this year has flown by, it seems like only yesterday we were waving goodbye to our Dick Whittington Cast! This year we welcome a brand new company which has a perfect fusion of new and old faces. We have welcomed back everyone’s favourite funny man Adam Byard as JJ and the magical fairy queen Laura Phillips who are both thrilled to be treading the boards again this year.
It’s been a busy few weeks with my sister and business partner Nia Jermin travelling back and forth from London to teach our elite team of 38 dancers. Within the last four weeks our dancers have learnt every routine in the performance and it’s now time to start woking with our very talented main cast. The bi-lingual cast also includes Jay Worley (X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, S4C’s Rownd a Rownd) who will be playing lead hero Jack; Leila Hughes from S4C’s Gwaith Cartref will be the leading lady in the form of Jill, and retuning to his hometown of Port Talbot, Anthony Argyle will play Dame Cookie Trott. With over twenty years experience as a panto dame, he can definitely rock a pair of heels like Beyoncé. This year the cast have a fantastic script which is overflowing with quirky ideas and creative gags. Myself and Nia write the script each year and tailor it to each location to make sure the humour is relevant and current. We’ve got to keep the laughs rolling, think cream pies, elaborate costumes, classic sing- a-long songs with a mix of current chart-toppers to appeal to the younger audiences.
We have a lot of big numbers this year and I’m most looking forward to the opening of act two, it has the campest song and involves a jumbo jet called Queasy Jet. Think Eurovision 2007, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It will definitely have everyone rolling in the aisles and singing along! Coming up with innovative and new ideas is part of the job I love, thinking outside the box and whereas other pantomime companies just use a traditional script we always like to make the production fresh and new and relevant to the audience , something which I think audiences love and recognise as a “niche Jermin style”. This year is cram jam packed with topical joke, local references which make the audience feel part of the action.
Jack and the Beanstalk is my all time favourite panto, I remember watching it with my mum and dad when I was 5 or 6, and watched in wonder as the beanstalk grew the end of act one live on stage, we have an amazing and very clever beanstalk this year… cant give anything away but its very impressive and will amazing adults and children alike. I am excited to be going on the road with the show and cast and actually stay and work from each theatre for the duration of the tour, although its really hard work living out of a suitcase and working from a laptop, its very enjoyable and we always have a giggle with the cast and crew.
This year the Pantomime is visiting FOUR theatres across South Wales which means our cast have been busy attending events and performing in Port Talbot, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Brecon and also Swansea which is the home of our company, Jermin Productions. Our favourite events to attend are the Christmas light switch ons and parades which are ever so festive and really helps the cast, our dancers and their parents to get into the Christmas mood. This year we will be attending the Llanelli Christmas Parade and Gorseinon Christmas Parade which will see our Pantomime Car and cast march through the streets dancing, singing and handing out our glossy leaflets. We are also delighted to be attending the Brecon Christmas Switch On which will welcome celebrity guest and absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley. We can’t wait to be sharing the stage with comedy royalty on this evening before attending and performing in the Christmas Parade for Swansea City. This is going to be a HUGE parade featuring over 400 performers, this is a really exciting event for us and we can’t wait to see it take over the city on Sunday 19th November.
We hope to see you all there!!
2017/18 Performance Schedule
The Princess Royal Theatre, PORT TALBOT – 01639 763214
Friday 1st December – Thursday 7th December:
The Lyric Theatre, CARMARTHEN – 0845 226 310
Friday 8th December – Saturday 16th December
The Ffwrnes Theatre, LLANELLI – 0845 226 3510
Tuesday 19th December – Sunday 24th December
Theatr Brycheiniog, BRECON – 01874 611 622
Thursday 28th December – Saturday 6th January