INTERVIEW WITH SUE HOLDERNESS

Meet Sue Holderness

Q) You are a regular on the Panto scene, what makes you come back for more?

It is one of the best parts of local theatre, as it encourages the next generation and inspires smaller children to become interested in theatre, with the comedy, lights, glamour and sounds. I particularly enjoy looking down at the audience and watching the kids laugh hysterically (so much so they are probably aching with laughter), whom for many of them it is their first experience of theatre. Pantomimes are synonymous with Britain and they are great in celebrating the coming of Christmas, providing entertainment for children, parents and grandparents alike.

Q) Who is your favourite panto character?

Well I love all the bad ones, I have been the Wicked Witch in Beauty and the Beast many times, and I was very wicked! I think I have done Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs around nine times and have worked with all the dwarfs in the country. The villain of the story has always been best suited to me, as only twice have I been the heroine of the story, the most recent being the Good Fairy in Jack & the Beanstalk. Funnily enough, when I have played the nicer characters, I am always grumpy at home, but when I play the evil character, my children say I am a delight!
Q) What is the best thing about being an actor?

The best thing is that it doesn’t really feel like a job. What most people want is to get up in the morning and do the job they want to do. I feel blessed to have been able to enjoy that throughout my career with a passion since I left school at 18 and get paid for a job that is essentially fun and games.

Q) What do you like least about being an actor?

That you believe that every single job will be the one where they find you out, and say no she’s hopeless and never employs you again. 90% of actors will say it is the insecurities of not knowing what’s coming next, but that’s part of the thrill not knowing what fabulous jobs I may get in the future.

Q) Who is your favourite actor of all time? 

I have to say my on-screen husband, John Challis aka Boycie, as I will never here the end of it! 

Q) Why do you think Only Fools and Horses is so iconic?

The script remains timeless, due to genius scriptwriter, John Sullivan, who was great writing family entertainment and his mission was to create shows that his whole family could be watched together, and although Del and Rodney did dodgy dealings, they had good hearts and the audience and country endeared to them. 
Q) Why did you choose to do a panto at Watersmeet?

It is very convenient for me, as I went to school in Northwood and have many friends in Rickmansworth, so as soon as I heard Jordan Productions were going to produce this year’s Pantomine, I got straight on the phone and said ‘I want Ricky’. I am thrilled to be in Rickmansworth, though I now live in Windsor, I still feel very at home here at my old stomping ground.

Q) Are you an outdoors person?

I loved horses growing up and if I had a lot of money, I would have probably wanted to do that more. I love the country, but I am a town girl at heart, so I enjoy the buzz of shops, theatres and cinemas. In Windsor, I can enjoy the lovely royal parks.

Q) What bores you?

Reality television is ghastly and cookery/home improvement shows bore me to death. I used to cook when my children were growing up, however, when my husband retired, I enjoyed handing it over to him. Not enough money in the world would get me on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, I couldn’t imagine anything worse than eating those creepy crawlies. 

Q) What excites you?

I love the theatre business, whilst I have had stage fright during period of my careers, you wouldn’t get frightened if the reward is thrilling and you didn’t enjoy the adrenaline rush. Family is very important to me.

Q) You enjoy travelling – what is your favourite place and why?

In 2008, I did the Vagina Monologues, which was terrific with Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street) on the P&O Cruise Ships and we had a great time travelling. To cut a long story short, P&O seem to like me and I have been lucky enough to do several shows on cruise ships and see places in the world I never expected to see with my husband, who helps with the production. I will be going to Antigua as soon as I finish panto. It’s like a holiday for us. I would like to visit Alaska, Panama Canal, Prague and Budapest.



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