Search

From dad to dame - 34-year-old prepares for Nurse Nellie role at Beccles pantomime

01 December, 2017 - 13:42
Daniel Hanton is playing Nurse Nellie in Robin Hood at Beccles Public Hall. Picture: James Norman at Charlotte James Photography.

Daniel Hanton is playing Nurse Nellie in Robin Hood at Beccles Public Hall. Picture: James Norman at Charlotte James Photography.

Archant

At first glance Daniel Hanton is a typical dad of one who spends his days working as a graphic designer.

Daniel Hanton getting dressed up for his role as Nurse Nellie. Picture: James Norman at Charlotte James Photography.Daniel Hanton getting dressed up for his role as Nurse Nellie. Picture: James Norman at Charlotte James Photography.

But add a generous application of electric blue eyeshadow, big bloomers and an outrageous frock, and he transforms into a very recognisable character.

The 34-year-old from Bradwell has been cast by Spark Live Pantomimes as the Beccles pantomime dame, which this year is Robin Hood’s delectable Nurse Nellie.

His varied theatre career has included hosting Sunday Night Live at the London Palladium, summer theatre and playing some of the most celebrated pantomime villains.

However it is the great community spirit that has attracted Mr Hanton back to Beccles for the second year running after a successful outing in 2016 as Widow Twankey.

Daniel Hanton with the rest of the Robin Hood cast at Beccles Public Hall. Picture: Charlotte James Photography.Daniel Hanton with the rest of the Robin Hood cast at Beccles Public Hall. Picture: Charlotte James Photography.

Despite taking parts in high school productions it wasn’t until 2008 that his stage career took off.

He said: “It happened by accident really. A friend of mine, Gavin Dean, was part of a production company with the late Steve Ace, who was fantastic at playing a pantomime dame, and they needed a stage manager. It ignited my love of panto and raised my enthusiasm for theatre again.

“They were doing some shows and they needed to cast a villain for Jack and the Beanstalk and it went from there. I began working with Gavin Dean on joint productions in Great Yarmouth and with Steve Ace in Bungay, in shows like Robin Hood, Dick Whittington and Aladdin, all as a villain.

“I love doing panto. It’s not a normal show, it isn’t a play and it’s often the first time that children in this country are introduced to theatre. It’s great because we are part of a family’s Christmas tradition and it’s something we need to keep embracing.”

With rehearsals well under way and with four new cast members on-board this year, Mr Hanton is enjoying the build-up to the beginning of the seasonal run on December 22.

“You tend to see the cast more than you do your own family and after it is all over you do get a bit of panto blues,” he said.

“Spark Live are a new, fresh production company. The script this year is packed full of comedy and we all really bounce off each other.

“I do worry about my wig falling off and the dresses are very heavy, but the dame always gets the best jokes, outrageous costumes - and of course when I leave the theatre no-one knows who I am.

“Steve Ace really influenced me. He sadly died five years ago, but he could make his whole cast laugh, his timing was perfect and he was a true gent. John Inman was one of the best panto dames in the country, and my other favourite is Richard Gauntlett as he always plays a traditional dame and that is my preferred method.”

Mr Hanton studied animation at university and is an illustrator, as well as a graphic designer. He is also a children’s entertainer, semi-professional Punch and Judy man and most importantly daddy to his young daughter.

“She’s three now and is so excited to see me,” he said. “Last year all I could hear when I got on stage was ‘daddy!’ She loves the singing and this year I’m doing her favourite Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

“People can expect lots of silly routines and lots of audience participation. There will be water involved, squirty cream and be warned, Nurse Nellie is looking for a man - she’s single and on the prowl!”

Robin Hood runs for 12 performances at Beccles Public Hall.

Tickets are £10 for children and £12 for adults, with concessions at £11 and a ticket for a family of four at £40.

They are on sale at the Public Hall box office, open from 10am until 3pm Monday to Saturday, by calling 01502 770060 or visiting www.becclespublichall.org.uk

Other News

It was a case of Christmas come early for a number of youngsters at a Norfolk hospital who met their footballing heroes.

Libraries around Norfolk are inviting people in for free tea and a friendly chat to help combat loneliness.

For one 16-year-old boy from Norfolk, Thursday, December 6 started like any other weekday.

A delayed motion looking to reduce period poverty in the Great Yarmouth borough is to be discussed once more by councillors.

Most Read

Yesterday, 18:00

School trips usually involve taking children to see one of Shakespeare’s great plays or visiting a historic museum.

Read more

Plans for a former pub to be turned into a luxury tobacconist have been put under fire by a nearby health centre, with bosses arguing it would “give out entirely the wrong message”.

Read more
NHS
Yesterday, 11:42

Would you like to play a major part in restoring one of Great Yarmouth’s most historic tourist attractions to its former glory?

Read more
Barry Coleman
Yesterday, 09:21

A joyrider was arrested after crashing into a traffic bollard - and was found to be more than three times the legal driving limit when police breathalysed him.

Read more
Great Yarmouth police
Yesterday, 16:38

Tears of joy streamed down the face of staff members who watched the magical moment a woman, who was left paralysed by a stroke, stood on her own two feet for the first time in 15 years.

Read more
Gorleston

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy