After our fantastic visit to see Aladdin Here at the Whitley Bay Playhouse last week I was invited to interview Abanazar or Shane Lynch to you and I. I’ve done a few interviews and been lucky enough to meet several famous people but I have to say I was a bit nervous, I think the teenage Boyzone fan in me was clapping with glee; in fact I’m still a fan.
However, when I was greeted by Shane in relaxed clothing, a coffee in hand telling me with a classic Irish lilt that he “Needed the boost” because he had just been for a sports massage and was feeling too relaxed. I immediately felt at ease, such a gent opening doors too. We took a seat in the theatre, for our interview and were entertained by the rest of the cast doing a pre-show warm up on stage for that day. I asked how come he was allowed to play hooky, but apparently “An evil laugh doesn't take much to warm up” he joked.
How many Pantomimes have you done?
“This is my 12th one! I started in the south but have travelled all over and have come to the North East this year”
So have you done the same stories or managed to do all different ones?
“I think I’ve done almost all of them once and a few repeats” He smiles “I know I’ve done Snow White three times and played both the Prince and the Villain in that”
So do you prefer to be a good guy or the Villain?
“The Villain! I’m a chilled out kind of person and being the good guy is a lot of responsibility, especially to the children in the audience expecting so much and its ALOT of smiling!” He laughs “There is more fun to be had playing the bad guy...”
*I can confirm my favourite line of the pantomime was when Abanazar came on to stage with a torrid of BOOOOOs and he replied with an evil laugh “I’m Irish I LOVE the Booze” It got a big cheer…
Have your family come to see you as Abanazar?
“They haven't yet!” Shane has two young daughters. “My littlest was a bit frightened one year when I was playing the bad guy but I think they will come up to see me at some point” I mention how much my boys enjoyed the show and what an amazing make over the Playhouse has had. “Its a GREAT theatre” He nods. “When you're on stage it feels so huge, but sitting here now even at the back, you are close to the stage, everywhere has a good view”
How are you finding the North East and Whitley Bay?
“I love it” He grins. “Everyone is so friendly and welcoming I’ve really settled in” He asks if I’m local, and I confirm I grew up a few minutes away “Geordie through and through” He then asks what qualifies a Geordie because he assumed it was “Only people from Newcastle?” I assure him that most people from the North East are classed as Geordie’s, kind of like being Irish if you're from Ireland. “Well everyone I’ve met is brilliant and I wouldn’t hesitate to return here to perform”
Will you get home for Christmas?
“Sadly NO” I think I looked a bit shocked. “ We have three performances on Christmas Eve and only have a 30hr window before the Boxing Day show, its too risky if I get delayed or whatever” I point out he doesn't seem too down about Christmas in the North. “Nah it just working life and plenty of people have to work actually on Christmas Day too” He laughs and says “I might send out a tweet asking if anyone has a bit spare turkey or something though”…I warn him that his account might crash, as sure there would be plenty of Geordie's offering a meal on the big day. Well we are so friendly right?!
One of my bloggetts begged me to ask, How many Tattoos do you have?
“Ive lost count!” he smiles “ I got my first one when I was 15 and I’m 40 now, I just see something and then I cant get it out of my head until its done” I suggest he must love getting tattoos done. “No way, I hate the pain!” Will you get anymore… “Of course!” he laughs.
So are you doing a Pantomime next year?
“Probably not, I’m making another album with the boys…” He casually mentions… Yeah that’s as in Boyzone to us. “So we might be on tour around then too, we will definitely be coming to the Newcastle Arena though” Be still all the Boyzone fans beating hearts, early Merry Christmas indeed.
I cant recommend Aladdin enough, it was so entertaining as the cast are fab and really funny. Running at the Whitley Bay Playhouse until the 3rd of January, get your tickets.