Matt Pagan

Starting next Friday 3rd December, Matt Pagan will play the Prince in the Sleeping Beauty pantomime at Tyne Theatre & Opera House running until 3rd January 2022, alongside a cast including Laura Baxter as Sleeping Beauty. Last year, Matt performed in The Pirate Queen at the London Coliseum as Donal O’Flaherty and, in 2014, with his music group Collabro, he won Series 8 of Britain’s Got Talent. Recently, Matt has been touring on Collabro’s Greatest Hits Tour and today they released their new single Mistletoe & Wine with Cliff Richard. Answering our questions, Matt speaks about being in the cast of Sleeping Beauty as the Prince, touring with Collabro and their new single with Cliff Richard – Mistletoe & Wine.

You will be playing the Prince in this year’s Sleeping Beauty at Tyne Theatre & Opera House, what are you looking forward to for performing in pantomime this Christmas?

This year, it’s incredible to be back on stage. I’ve worked with a lot of the cast before so the laughs are even bigger this time around!

What can audiences expect from your performance of the Prince?

As the Prince, I have some great songs, which I can’t wait to perform! In Collabro, we’re known for the big numbers, so audiences can expect a couple of big songs! I’ve even been given some witty lines which doesn’t normally happen so I’m very excited for that.

Why would you recommend this year’s Sleeping Beauty to adults and children, and why would you encourage booking tickets?

Sleeping Beauty is incredibly funny and there is definitely something for everybody. The story is fantastic and this year… there is 3D projection, the audience are given 3D glasses.

How was it meeting the cast and reading the script for the first time?

I’ve loved every second of rehearsals. Like I said, I’ve worked with quite a lot of the cast before so it’s so easy working with them again. Laura Baxter, who is playing Princess Tamara is brilliant. She auditioned for the show and blew us away. She’s a great leading lady!

What is it like interacting with audience members during a pantomime?

It’s the most important part! Obviously, things haven’t quite been the same yet, as they were. But we can’t wait to be back this year getting the audience involved and having the best time!

Having performed in pantomimes previously, including at Tyne Theatre, what is your favourite aspect of performing in them?

I find that, whatever you do throughout the year, it can be stressful and we all have bad days. Pantomime is a time that you come to the theatre and forget everything else and have a great time. And it’s exactly the same for us performers, we are also there to have a great time… and oh, we do!

Last year, you played Donal O’Flaherty in The Pirate Queen at the London Coliseum, how was this?

The Pirate Queen was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Working alongside Rachel Tucker, Hannah Waddingham, Jai McDowell (to name a few) was amazing. We worked closely with the writers and composers, who also wrote Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, which was a great experience. I played a bad guy, and I mean, he was horrible (I LOVED IT!!).

You’ve recently been touring with your music group Collabro, what was the Greatest Hits Tour like to do?

This year was a lot different as we couldn’t do stage door, meet and greets were a lot different and we spent a month on a tour bus. But it was amazing! We had the best time. The fans were sensational and it was like we had never left, what a tour it was. We headlined the London Palladium for the fifth time too.

Today you have released Mistletoe & Wine with Cliff Richard, what was it like to record?

Recording Mistletoe & Wine was so much fun. It’s an iconic song and Sir Cliff is an absolute diamond. We toured with him in 2017 and he is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I really hope people go and download the song, because it really is something special. We were in the studio and just hearing his voice on the same track but 33 years later, was a moment I’ll never forget.

What are some of your stand-out highlights from performing with Collabro over the years which saw you win Britain’s Got Talent in 2014?

The Royal Variety was a special moment for us. We’ve also headlined the Royal Albert Hall three times. We sang at Old Trafford for Soccer Aid and we’ve toured the world. I’ve got so many stories and memories!

How do you like to spend your time away from your career?

I like going to see shows and concerts, I play golf, I love cooking. But the thing I love most is spending time with friends and family – that’s what matters most!

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