Tyger Drew-Honey is making his pantomime debut this year playing Prince Charming in Cinderella at Lighthouse Poole, which will be running from 8th December until 31st December. Earlier this year, Tyger starred in The Fall at Riverside Studios, which has been announced for a digital release on Original Theatre on the 21st November, and last year, he appeared in the world premiere of Rocky Road, which was streamed live from Jermyn Street Theatre. In the BBC Radio 4 supernatural thriller Harland, Tyger plays Dan, with Series 2 currently airing on Fridays, and for his first screen role since the pandemic, Tyger was a guest star in Grantchester as Malcy Smith. With an unannounced cartoon adaptation of a series of books, Tyger will be voicing the lead character in the children’s animated series. Speaking with Tyger, he talks about making his pantomime debut as Prince Charming in Cinderella at Lighthouse Poole, appearing in theatre plays The Fall and Rocky Road and playing Dan in BBC Radio 4’s Harland.
It has been announced you are playing Prince Charming in Cinderella at Lighthouse Poole in December, what are you looking forward to most for starting in the role?
I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into something different, something I’ve never done before. Moving to Poole for Xmas, singing and dancing on stage and working with a panto audience are going to feel pretty new to me I’m sure, but it’s going to be an adventure and I can’t wait.
Was there anything that drew you to Cinderella and have you seen Cinderella as a pantomime previously?
I’ve not seen Cinderella as a panto for many years, if I’m honest. Most recently, I saw Jack and the Beanstalk, but Cinderella’s romance in the face of adversity is far more a story I can get behind; and, hey, who doesn’t want to be a prince for a month?
Cinderella marks your pantomime debut, how do you think you’ll feel on opening night?
Nervous, excited, pumped up on adrenaline, terrified, grateful, lucky, laughing spontaneously, nervous, excited, need the toilet, no I don’t, can’t stop smiling, breathing heavily, thirsty, laughing again, adrenaline SURGING NOW, nervous, grateful and EXCITED!
I imagine it might be something like this, and probably every night, not only the first!
How do you think you’ll find the experience of interacting with a pantomime audience?
It’s something I can’t wait to do! It’s something I’ve never done before, but I know that a panto audience is alive like no other.
Even in the non-panto theatre I’ve done, the more you get from the crowd the better so I’m really looking forward to interacting with a crowd that, in some way, feels it is part of their evening’s purpose to shout at us from their seats!
How will you prepare to play the character and what can audiences expect from your portrayal of the Prince?
I will learn everything I need to and portray him possibly with a certain air of comedy smug poshness, but have him sincere, generous and in love at the same time. The final honing of the character will come in rehearsals, where bouncing off the other actors really helps everyone’s character find its place.
Why would you recommend booking tickets to see Cinderella in Poole, which starts 8th December?
Because you will have a great night out, full of smiles and Christmas cheer!! I will personally make sure you enjoy yourselves!
Earlier this year, you starred in The Fall at Riverside Studios, what was it like to be involved with?
It was the second stream theatre project I’d been involved with, and they really are such fun. With this show it was more about demonstrating the story and so we performed with scripts in hand, but it was actually an incredible and heart-wrenching script. Also, a great surprise to have Adrian Lukis playing my father for the second time in my career so far. Onto the third!
How was it starring in the world premiere of Rocky Road last year and having it streamed live from Jermyn Street Theatre?
Now this job was seriously intense, but so much fun and so rewarding. It was great to be working in the heart of the West End, and in a two-hander as well, so lots of hard work needed doing. The play was well-received and received some nominations – I would love to see it on stage with a live audience some day.
Can you tell us about the BBC Radio 4 supernatural thriller Harland, in which you play Dan?
Series 2 of Harland will be out or underway at the time of printing. Having been promoted somewhat I’m actually in every single scene of Series 2, something I can’t say about any previous job ever. It’s a supernatural radio drama, which is pretty unique, and Series 1 is available on demand if you fancy delving into its strange world for a few hours via your headphones.
You were a guest star in an episode of Series 6 of Grantchester last year as Malcy Smith, what was it like working on set?
Just a great experience. It was my first time back on set after COVID actually, so in a sense was very significant for me. I worked with the stunt team to pull off a really great fight scene with the lead, which I’m pretty sure I won!
Do you have any favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
My girlfriend and I go to the theatre roughly once a month, and we love all sorts, to be honest. A lot of my personal viewing is either golf, chess, F1 or video game = content on YouTube. But we are currently on the lookout for our next behemoth box set.
Have you been given any advice over your career so far that has stuck with you, and what advice would you give a young actor starting out?
As Mark Wahlberg once said to me at the launch of his Wahlburgers restaurant in Covent Garden: ‘If you really want it, just never give up. Work hard and don’t give up’.
What would you say are some of your stand-out highlights from working as an actor through the years?
I’ll give you one. National Television Awards 2012. They’ve read out the nominations for best sitcom, I am poised on the edge of my seat, holding Ramona’s (Marquez) hand, staring at the lips of Richard Wilson.
‘OUTNUMBERED,’ the lips said.
I’m on the edge of the row, and so now I’m leading the cast onto the stage. I grab the award from Richard Wilson, a sitcom legend I idolised, and wave the trophy at the audience. Backstage, I said to Richard Wilson that One Foot in the Grave was my favourite sitcom of all time and he told me that Outnumbered was his. This was all on the day before my 16th birthday. It was pretty exciting to say the least.
What are you hoping the upcoming year brings for your career and do you have any future projects you can tell us about?
I will work hard, try and make good decisions and ultimately hope for the best! I recently bagged a really cool animation job, voicing the lead role in a new children’s cartoon adaption of a series of books. No spoilers for now but it’s very cool and exciting!
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