Jack and the Beer Hops: Cast Q&A
You're probably aware by now (oh yes you are) that we recently released our very own Panto in a Box, including our very own panto story, Jack and the Beer Hops, by legendary Panto writer and star Johnny McKnight.
We wanted to do something to support the performing arts industry at this difficult time, and our Panto Box was our way of doing this, with proceeds going to support various performing arts charities including the Theatre Artists Fund and Capital Theatres.
To top it all off, we brought our Panto to life! Bringing together a quartet of brilliant actors via Zoom to perform the panto virtually. You can find it at brewgooder.com/panto until December 31st!
If you haven't met the cast yet, here they are!
Holly Atterton as JACK
Best known as a member of Nick Jr’s Go!Go!Go!, Holly is a regular on the panto circuit, most recently as Tinkerbell, for UK Productions’ Peter Pan. Holly also toured Europe with Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show in the role of Columbia.
Quinn Patrick as MOTHER GOSE
Star of stage and screen, Quinn is recognisable from his appearances on Emmerdale, Casualty and childrens’ comedy series, Grandpa In My Pocket. Quinn is also no stranger to pantomime and has been playing a ‘Dame’ for nearly 20 years!
Anna Randall as THE NARRATOR
Geordie lass Anna, is a comedian and singer, most often found shamelessly flirting her way through the 1940s, as Lois ‘Legs’ Laurelle in vintage trio The Hotsie Totsies. Anna is also a talented musician and voiceover artist, lending her dulcet tones to commercials and idents on radio and TV.
Paul Bradley as BAWRUS WETHERSPUN
Prime-time TV favourite Paul Bradley, is best known for his roles as Nigel Bates in EastEnders (1992-’98) and more recently, Elliot Hope in the BBC’s Holby City. Paul is a talented comic and made his early TV appearances in The Young Ones and Bottom, and has since appeared in many television series including The Bill, Red Dwarf and My Family.
We caught up with some of the cast to see how they have been handling the pandemic and what their thoughts are for the future of theatre amidst ongoing restrictions.
Hey! Tell us a little more about yourself!
Paul Bradley - Bawrus Wetherspun: My name is Paul Bradley perhaps best known for playing NIGEL in EastEnders many years ago - being shown on Drama channel now - and ELLIOT HOPE in Holby City - which I was in for ten years. If you spend the whole day in front of the telly you will see me quite a bit slimmer and with rather more hair!
I have done lots of theatre- including Martin Mcdonagh’s weird play ' A Very very very dark matter’ at the spanking new Bridge Theatre, London. I have done many pantos, which I love, and last year played “the baddie” for the first time, as Captain Hook in Peter Pan.
Holly Atterton - Jack: I’m Holly and I play the role of Jack. Once upon a time, I was in a pop group called Go!Go!Go! on Nickelodeon’s Nick Jnr channel, and I’m a regular ‘Tinkerbell’ in Peter Pan, for UK Productions.
How have you been personally affected by the pandemic?
Quinn Patrick - Mother Gose: Work obviously dried up but it made me revisit some old stand up/character-comedy I had done before and blow the dust off it all. I used the time wisely. I do miss being on stage though, I'm not going to lie!
Paul: I am bored of the pandemic now. I began Lockdown 1.0 with high hopes of doing all the things that I promised myself I’d do given the time. I achieved some! (I play a lot of ukulele now but still haven’t read Ulysses!) I’ve been very well-behaved and have kept inside - apart from the occasional stroll but I’m glad it looks like it’s coming to an end.
Holly: Like many performers I’ve generally had to rely on a ‘proper job’ in order to make ends meet, so I’ve been very grateful for the opportunity to work from home in my PR role, while we wait for the theatre world to open up again.
How did you enjoy filming Jack and the Beer Hops?
Quinn: I loved working with our little ensemble of players. I have worked with Paul and Holly before so we all had a good catch up and of course plenty of laughs! I will say it's a little odd filming on zoom and not to crowds of children and families but I think we made it work.
Paul: It was really lovely doing Jack and the Beer Hops! I had worked with Holly who plays Jack before and she’s great fun and so energetic. And Quinn (Mother G) is a fantastic Dame. It was great to do something to keep the old performance muscles flexed. I’m also in a band (‘The hKippers’!) and miss live performance so much, so it was great to work again - albeit virtually.
Holly: It was a very bizarre experience! Panto is usually so reliant on audience participation and interaction and sharing the stage with an energetic company, so performing in our homes to each other on Zoom was quite odd - we just had to trust that our jokes and one-liners would land without the usual laughs for confirmation!
I would say that a big highlight for me was having a ‘front row seat’ to watch the other cast members bring their characters to life.
What did you think when you first read our Panto in a Box concept and read Johnny McKnight's script?
Quinn: I thought it was a great idea hence why I jumped on board! Panto is a huge part of the tradition of christmas and peoples lives, so to not have any would be a crying shame.
Paul: I think it’s a brilliant concept: the pack looks great, the beer is tasty and the cause is SO worthwhile. Theatre workers both on stage and behind the scenes have been incredibly badly hit and hopefully the Panto In A Box will help people facing hardship in the entertainment industry
Holly: I thought it was bonkers but brilliant - the concept AND the script! I’ve watched the success of previous Brewgooder campaigns, though, so I had no doubt that it would be a huge success.
What do you think the future holds for theatres and performers?
Holly: I think that the phrase ‘a new normal’ will really be relevant as the theatre industry gets back on its feet. It will be a very different world to the one that we left earlier this year but I have faith that it will thrive and that it will remain the magical escapism that it’s always been, regardless of the new regulations that will no doubt be in place. You can knock us down but we’ll come back fighting - and we’ll be fabulous whilst doing so!
Quinn: Well the good thing I believe that has come from all this is the fact people realising how much they love and miss live theatre and events. So I believe, in time things will come back even stronger than before.
Paul: Already it looks like things are thawing a bit- and I think Easter we should be nearing getting back to a sort of normal - fingers crossed!
What else have you been up to outside of filming for our panto?
Holly: As I said before, I’m fortunate to have a day job alongside my acting career, so I’ve been throwing myself into work, singing at home with my partner when we can, and getting used to being a ‘parent’ to our pup, Penny, who we adopted earlier this year.
Paul: I haven’t been up to much: playing music, drawing, and watercolouring - which I’ve just rediscovered.
Quinn: I managed to squeeze an episode of Pennyworth in just before the lockdown which airs on the 13th December, so a busy day for me acting wise!
And finally, what's your favourite pantomime story?
Paul: Peter Pan, I love - it’s fun and imaginative but also a little dark.
Holly: To echo what Paul said: it has to be Peter Pan. It’s such a beautiful tale that encourages you to never stop dreaming, and that anything is possible if you just believe. (Oh gosh.. I welled up just typing that!)
A big thanks to our actors for taking the time to answer our questions!
If you haven't caught our panto yet, give it a watch HERE!
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