He's recently completed his fifth UK panto and is about to celebrate 15 years as a Ramsay Street resident. We caught up with Alan Fletcher to ask him a few questions about his recent time in Aberdeen and his hopes for Neighbours in 2009...
Did you enjoy doing panto this year?
I performed in Peter Pan this year which is my favourite show because it has such a magical quality. Captain Hook is a superb baddie to play as well and Alan Cohen's production of the play had a perfect mix of comedy and drama. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.
How did this year's panto compare to previous years?
This panto was the most successful I have ever been associated with. We played to over 55,000 people over 50 performances. His Majesty's Theatre is one of the most beautiful venues to perform in as well.
What were the rest of the cast like? Were they welcoming?
The cast were wonderful to me from day one. Alan McHugh, who wrote the show and played Dame, was a performer I felt a huge affinity with. Jordan Young, SMEE, is a fine comic and straight actor and a beaut bloke. Young Keith Jack was a delight as Peter Pan. We had enormous fun together and he flattered me by asking me to join him on-stage at the Hogmany street party to sing a duet. I could go on all day about all the cast. So generous, welcoming and kind. We all spent a great day together at Xmas as well which softened the blow of being away from home and family.
What did you think of Aberdeen?
I was amazed at the beauty of the city. Some people find Aberdeen drab because it is uniformly constructed with Granite. I found that very attractive as it gave even new buildings an air of grace and style. The weather was kind as well with very little rain or snow. Still very cold though!
Would you consider doing panto again?
This was my fifth panto and I m sure I will be back again soon.
How was Karl's absence explained?
He was visiting his baby, Holly, in London.
What has been your Neighbours highlight of 2008?
The storyline that is just going to air in OZ right now involving Zeke. Some very harrowing Karl/Susan moments!
What would you most like to see happen to Karl in 2009?
More battles with Paul Robinson, lots of comedy with Susan and a strong medical story.
How would you like to see the Kennedys mark their 15th anniversary later this year?
With lashings of champagne!
If you were forced to choose, which Ramsay Street lady other than Susan would you like Karl to have a fling with?
Probably Rebecca - I could fight Paul for her!
Why do you think Neighbours has so much appeal to the UK audience?
I think its because the show has a good balance of comedy and drama and reaistic characters that audiences anywhere in the world can relate to.
Do you have any plans for Waiting Room this year?
We are performing every Monday in Melbourne, selected dates in Sydney and Queensland and hoping to secure more work in the corporate sector. I am busy writing new songs as well and hope to be performing some gigs in the Uk this year again.
Interview by Kate. Added on 24th January 2009