Aussie actress Suzie Mathers gets her first taste of panto culture in the title role of Cinderella
For Suzie Mathers, star of this year’s Arts Theatre pantomime, Christmas is normally a time for lounging by the pool over a barbecue breakfast – blokes in dresses and heavily made-up villains (boo! hiss!) are thin on the ground. This year will be different however, as the Aussie actress (pictured above centre) gets her first taste of panto culture in the title role of Cinderella.
“I’m super excited about doing the panto, and Cinderella is THE one you want to do,” she enthuses. “I grew up in Australia where we don’t have the big panto culture – so I’d never heard of Buttons – but I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in it.”
Panto must seem pretty bizarre to an outsider, does it?
“It’s very different! It is mad, but really great how the audience can have the run of the show. No two performances are the same, the audience brings their own energy and you get different reactions, and panto has that flexibility to change which makes it really exciting.”
Suzie comes to us after playing Glinda in the Australasian production of Wicked.
“It seems like a good transition to be playing Cinderella after Glinda,” she laughs. “To play that role so early in my career was a dream come true. It’s a wonderful show with wonderful music. I know it’s really clichéd, but Popular was my favourite song to do! I always had a blast with that.”
Talking about Christmas down under, she says: “It’s very different. On Christmas Day we start with a seafood barbecue, then a roast with all the trimmings later in the afternoon, then usually cocktails by the pool or on the beach. In Perth, where I’m from, it can be anywhere between 35 and 42°. I was with family in Aberdeen last year which was my first cold Christmas. The fact that I could wear a Christmas jumper at Christmas was such a novelty for me!”
She adds: “I’m so excited to be coming to Cambridge this Christmas. The minute I arrived I fell in love with the place: it’s like a fairytale land. I’ll be staying right opposite King’s College, so I’ll be right in the heart of it. I really hope it snows, that would be a dream come true! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!”
Cinderella at Cambridge Arts Theatre runs 3 December until 17 January 2016. See their website for times and ticket prices.