Panto villain Steven expects ‘roof-raising boos from everyone’

West End actor Steven Serlin takes to Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre stage for the first time this Christmas in the family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 2:32 pm
Steven Serlin

The show runs from Friday, December 6, until January 12, and Steven is playing the villain Fleshcreep.

He’s a proper panto baddie and Steven is relishing the chance to deliver some devilish lines in exchange for a deluge of boos and hisses.

Steven’s previous roles have included some of the West End’s biggest hits including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chess, Saturday Night Fever, I Can’t Sing, Desperately Seeking Susan, Boogie Nights and Grease, as well as a wide selection of acclaimed off West End roles, including The Little Shop of Horrors and The Wild Party.

He has also taken part in many UK tours including The Rocky Horror Show and Jesus Christ Superstar.

A spokesperson for Devonshire Park Theatre said: “Fleshcreep, the giant’s henchman, follows the traditional pantomime route by only ever speaking in rhyme, being thoroughly rotten to everyone he meets; extracting lots of hisses from the audiences and performing some suitably horribly adapted songs. Of course the ending may bring some enlightenment to the beastly baddie but there’s plenty of fun to be had along the way.”

Speaking about the part, Steven said: “It is great fun to play the pantomime baddie.

“I loved playing King Rat last year in Chatham.

“Without the dark you can’t have the light so the baddie is a true pantomime tradition who is integral to the plot and the whole experience of the show.”

He added: “Having the chance to play the villain is going to be wonderful this Christmas. I hear that the Eastbourne audiences really get involved with the spirit of the show so I’m expecting lots of roof-raising boos from everyone in the theatre, especially the adults. They’ve got to get immersed in the fun too!”

Eastbourne’s family pantomimes are famed for their traditional approach. The principal boy is always played by a female actress, which for this year is Katherine Glover as Jack who returns to the Devonshire Park following last year’s Cinderella and 2017’s Dick Whittington. The fairy character always enters from stage right with the baddie coming in from stage left. They must never cross the invisible central line on the stage and they must always speak in rhyme.

Playing opposite Steven in the part of the good fairy is Nathalie Hope as Fairy Fuchsia who also makes her Eastbourne debut. Nathalie also has a huge West End pedigree with previous credits including Our House, The Commitments, Fame and, most recently, The Toxic Avenger.

Tickets are selling fast for the family pantomime, but good seats can still be found in the first and final week of the show with availability between Christmas and New Year more limited but still possible.

Tickets cost £12 to £23.50 (group discounts available). Call the box office on 01323 412000.

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