In this year’s pantomime Peter Pan at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Matt Lapinskas will be playing the titular character Peter Pan, a role he’s played previously, alongside a cast including Sam Lavery (as Tiger Lily) and Cleo Demetriou (as Wendy), with tickets currently on sale and the pantomime open from 8th December until 7th January. As a stage actor, Matt played Villainor/Karl in the world premiere of Horse-Play at Riverside Studios last year, and he had his first musical lead role when he toured with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as Pharaoh. Most recently on screen, Matt played Mark in The Abomination, and he was in the cast of EastEnders as Anthony Moon, working closely with his on-screen family including his father Eddie Moon (David Essex) and cousin Alfie Moon (Shane Richie). On Series 8 of Dancing on Ice in 2013, Matt was a contestant with his professional skate partner Brianne Delcourt, reaching the Final where he became runner-up to Beth Tweddle. Matt chatted to us about returning to his role of Peter Pan for Tyne Theatre & Opera House’s pantomime of Peter Pan this year, his time as Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and what Anthony Moon was like to play in EastEnders.
Later this year, you will be starring as Peter Pan in Tyne Theatre & Opera House’s pantomime of Peter Pan, what is the character like to play?
It’s a fun, energetic and iconic role, so I am really going to love it.
Having performed in a Peter Pan pantomime last year, what are you looking forward to for returning to the role for a new run?
Ooooh, the flying, definitely. This is what sets this production aside from all the others. I also love to hear the excitement and magic that this show brings.
What do you enjoy most about performing in pantomimes?
I love the fact that they are family traditions for many people and something that you take to adulthood yourself, before creating the same types of memories for your own children.
How do you find the experience interacting with a pantomime audience?
You can’t beat the interaction, whether you’re playing a goodie or a baddie, it’s always great to hear the audience get involved. It’s often the first experience of theatre for a child, going to a panto, so it’s our job to make it extra special.
How was it meeting the rest of the Peter Pan cast for the first time?
The directors of this pantomime in particular are great. The cast are good fun and we’re all in great spirits, ready for the upcoming shows. We can’t wait.
Why would you recommend booking tickets to see Peter Pan at Tyne Theatre & Opera House this Christmas?
Because it’s the best in the region, by far, but I’m bound to say that, as I’m in it! No seriously, it’s fun, energetic, super professional and just great fun for the entire family.
You played Villainor/Karl in Horse-Play at the Riverside Studios last year, how was it performing in the world premiere production?
It was a truly great experience, and I was extremely fortunate to work with some amazing people. One not to be forgotten.
What was it like touring as Pharaoh in the UK Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
It was great, six months of seriously hard work, but an incredibly memorable experience, for all the right reasons. It was my first musical lead role, so it is always going to be special.
On screen, you most recently played Mark in the feature film The Abomination, can you tell us about this?
It was a modern tale on Frankenstein and is touring Canada and the USA currently. It was great fun to play, and I made many great friends on set.
What are some of your favourite memories from your time as Anthony Moon in EastEnders?
My memories came to life when I saw all the famous characters on set that I’d spent my entire life watching on TV. Sharing the stage with legends like Shane Richie and David Essex was an eye-opener and a real privilege.
How did you find the experience being a contestant on Series 8 of Dancing on Ice and how was it reaching the Final?
In a word, awesome. I still skate now, when I can, as it’s a skill I’d like to continue with. Skating the Bolero for Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean was monumental.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you get into it?
My mam was my inspiration, and I was a big fan of amateur dramatics when growing up.
What are some of your favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
Huge fan of Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones and, for a healthy eating gym enthusiast, watching The Great British Bake Off is the one thing that excites me, as I plan to eat them all on Christmas Day!
How do you like to spend your free time?
The gym, playing golf, dog walking, testing my skills at songwriting, spending time with friends and family and, finally, singing as much as I can.
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