Vicki Michelle likes nothing better during the festive season than spending her nights being booed at the Grand Opera House in York.
Remembered fondly for playing Yvette Carte-Blanche in BBC wartime comedy from 1982 to 1992, Vicki will be playing the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from December 13 to January 4 2020 at the Grand Opera House.
She returns to the Grand Opera House after earlier appearances as Jacqueline in Marc Camoletti’s boulevard comedy Don’t Dress For Dinner and, in June this year, the girls-night-out comedy Hormonal Houswives.
Her 69th birthday falls on December 14th as she settles into the Three Bears Productions’ pantomime run.
We caught up with the star to find out more about her love of panto.
I’ve done lots of wicked queens. I haven’t counted, but it’s probably 30 years now [in fact Snow White will be 27th panto]. I love it, because panto is magical for children, their parents and their grandparents, and it’s a genre where you think, ‘thank you, we still have this each year’… with people really believing in what they see on stage!
How will you react to the audience playing along?
I’ll stamp my feet, I’ll react to them standing up to the Wicked Queen, not in a comical way, but I make her a bit of fun to play with. I have to be evil – and the Wicked Queen is truly evil – but l love doing it. I just love performing. The audience have paid to see the show, they want to see you giving 200 per cent, and I know I’m working with people who can do that.
Any ‘Allo, ‘Allo! references?
Probably there’ll be a few lines about ’Allo, ’Allo!. I was in this amazing series that’s still shown on TV and has been sold to 80 countries. South Africa. Bulgaria. Romania. Lithuania. Sweden…
The Germans said they would never buy it, but they did! How amazing is that! ‘Allo, ‘Allo! Is still funny. It makes you laugh out loud and there aren’t many comedies that do that today. That’s the mark of good comedy: if they can make you laugh out loud. That should be revered.
Did ‘Allo, ‘Allo! give you the chance to say hello, hello to more work?
It didn’t spoil things, because afterwards you’re typecast. What I did was loads of theatre: playing Miss Hannigan in Annie; Salad Days; Miss Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas; Don’t Dress For Dinner; loads of Ray Cooney farces.
What are your plans for Christmas Day?
I want to get home for Christmas, which is always at my place; three sisters and their families. Christmas morning is always something sparkly and a salmon and a smoked cheese bagel.
What may 2020 bring Vicki?
There are a few things that are bubbling under, but first I’ve got this panto to enjoy.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at the Grand Opera House from December 13 to January 4 2020. Buy your tickets from the Box office at 0844 871 3024 or from their website.