Tim Stedman has been appearing in panto in Harrogate for 10 years!
Tim Stedman clearly relishes being a regular in Harrogate's annual panto:
"It's such a classy, wonderful, traditional pantomime. One you can take both your three-year-old and your grandmother to."
Not all actors enjoy pantomime as much as Tim does. Many performers aren't too fond of the long runs, struggle with the comic aspects of the show or look down a bit on pantomime, not considering it as 'real' theatre.
Tim hasn't much time for that point of view: "Some people can be a bit snooty about it. They seem to think it's theatre that just goes for the lowest common denominator. They don't give us credit for all the work that goes into making it a great experience for the audience.
Tim says he's just a jobbing actor but loves coming back to Harrogate
"What they don't realise is that for a lot of people the panto is their only experience of theatre. Our responsibility is to give them a terrific time and hopefully attract them to see other things and support their local theatre."
Many traditional pantomimes are no longer produced and, with many theatres suffering cuts in their grants, it's perhaps easier to opt for a big-name celebrity who will guarantee 'bums on seats'. Harrogate doesn't do that: "We always tell the story and we still do the traditional sing-a-long, with song sheets, to get the audience involved. We throw in a modern pop song but one that everyone knows. We also don't rely on smutty humour."
Tim trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Since finishing his training he's toured the country in a number of productions and appeared in a variety of television shows and films.
Tim enjoys the variety of touring but returning to Harrogate gives him a small glimpse of celebrity, "I'm just a jobbing actor and very happy with that but it is lovely coming back to Harrogate. People do recognise you and come up and say hello. It's just wonderful when they tell you how much they enjoyed the show."
It's not just the people that bring Tim back each year, "It is a great show to do but people are so proud here of their local theatre and the building is wonderful. It's had a great deal of refurbishment and restoration work and it's beautiful. Who wouldn't want the chance to work here?"
This year Tim is appearing in Aladdin as Wishee Washee at Harrogate Theatre until 16 January 2010. Visit the theatre's
for more information.