Five minutes with… Kenneth Alan Taylor
Saturday sees the return of the Nottingham Playhouse‘s pantomime which this year, happens to be the one and only Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood. Directed for the 29th year in a row by Kenneth Alan Taylor, this year’s production will see him take to the stage once again as the Dame, his first appearance since 2009. We caught up with this very talented director ahead of his return this weekend.
EN: Where is your favourite place in Nottinghamshire?
KA Taylor: Without a doubt the Playhouse must be my favourite place in Nottingham. When you have spent twenty-nine years connected to a theatre it becomes like a second home. The staff are so fantastic and make my life so much easier and the pantomime audiences are great.
EN: This year’s pantomime, Robin Hood & the Babes in the Wood, sees your return to the stage. What made you come back? Was it the story or were you just missing acting?
KA Taylor: I returned to the stage because I have only done this panto once before. I felt the urge to be back on the boards when I was writing it, and also all five of my grandchildren are now old enough to know it is Granddad up there!
EN: Robin Hood is a pretty popular character around here, does it make it a bigger challenge to adapt or is it actually more fun?
KA Taylor: It is a challenge writing about Robin Hood, but I hope I have a good strong story with some original pieces and that I have done this legendary figure justice.
EN: You’ve been with the Playhouse for nearly 30 years, have you got a favourite memory or panto moment?
KA Taylor: I have so many memories of my time at the Playhouse that they would fill a book, but the very first pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk” will always be special because pantomime was new to the Playhouse and fortunately the audiences took it to their hearts.
EN: You must have adapted them all now, what is your favourite pantomime?
KA Taylor: My personal favourite pantomime is “Mother Goose” simply because it has the best Dame of all.
EN: It seems every year you succeed in making an even funnier pantomime than the one before, what is your secret?
KA Taylor: I don’t ever analyse how or why my pantomimes are funny. I just sit down and write and rewrite and change bits in rehearsal until I hope it is working.
EN: Can you reveal any secrets about this year’s Robin Hood & the Babes in the Wood?
KA Taylor: If I told you the secrets they wouldn’t be secrets, would they? But, I can tell you this year there are more costumes than ever, and I guarantee no production has used so many Merry Men!
Robin Hood & the Babes in the Wood starts on Saturday 1 December at Nottingham Playhouse and runs until 19 January. Tickets are already on sale and can be purchased at www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk