Storm-Skyler McClure is Princess Jasmine in pantomime this Christmas – just as she was last year. And the year before. And the year before that.
“This is my sixth panto,” says Storm-Skyler, “and every time I have played Princess Jasmine. I think I am slightly typecast! But it is great fun!”
The point is that even within that one role, there is still plenty of variety possible. Some productions might demand Princess Jasmine as the poor maiden; others will offer Princess Jasmine as someone more feisty. Storm-Skyler suspects that Bognor’s Jasmine will fall into the latter category: “Aladdin is such a great pantomime to do. There is so much that you can explore in the story. There is so much comedy. There is a really good story – and the whole thing is such a lot of fun.”
Aladdin is at Bognor’s Regis Centre from Tuesday, December 12-Tuesday, January 2 – and Storm-Skyler is relishing the thought of her first panto at the venue: “I don’t know the town at all, but I am really looking forward to exploring it.”
She brings to it all plenty of stage experience. Her previous theatre credits include Sarah Crewe in the Little Princess and Dorothy in Wizard of Oz both for MnM productions. In the Vagina Monologues she performed four monologues, and in How to Make a Killing in Bollywood she played all over Scotland and England and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
“I graduated in 2008 from Coatbridge College in musical theatre. It was more the acting that I was wanting to do, but from a very young age, I went to dancing lessons, from when I was three and a half. My mum was a dancer and my dad was a singer. I think it was seeing him sing on stage that made me want to do it. I love that acting is just different all the time. It is a challenge. It forces you to think outside the box, to become someone else. I am very satisfied being me, but it is great to try to be someone else! I have mostly been in theatre so far, but I am looking to do more TV and film. I have had lots of auditions for films and things. I think it is just about keeping yourself fresh in front of the same casting directors. It depends what parts are coming up, but it is partly about not being so pushy.”
Being overly pushy can be counter-productive, Storm-Skyler suspects: “You have just got to keep yourself young and fresh and looking for other projects all the time.
“Last Christmas, I was in Glasgow. It was more of a community tour with some bigger Scottish names attached, going around community centres for people that could not afford to pay £30 for panto tickets. It wasn’t very long. We finished up on December 17, and I had Christmas at home.”
This year has also seen Storm-Skyler work in verbatim theatre on a piece called If I Had A Girl: “It was a women’s community where they would help out with women within the Muslim and Asian community, and some very strong women shared their stories.
“It was their story, and we could not put it into our own words. It was really interesting to do.”