A baddie who loves the boos

Alan Fletcher as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood
Alan Fletcher as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood

Multi-talented Australian actor and musician Alan Fletcher has a confession to make – he only likes playing baddies.

Best-known as two-timing Dr Karl Kennedy in Neighbours, he’s relishing the role of the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham in this year’s panto at Dunstable’s Grove Theatre – Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

“The moment the audience starts booing, I come alive,” he grinned. “I’m well honed in the part because I’ve played it before. But I always like to add a new element and that has a lot to do with other people in the cast.

“This year we’ve got marvellous ventriloquist Steve Hewlett who has another character attached to his arm so I’m never sure what I’m going to come up against. He always makes me cry with laughter – even though I’ve heard it all before.

“Then there’s Andy Abraham – when he opens his mouth the roof shakes. And Anna Kumble has such a wonderful voice – she’s the ultimate, perfect fairy.”

Alan describes panto as a “huge joy. It’s exhausting but the camaraderie keeps you going.

“It’s fundamentally for children. It’s wonderful to see them having a good time. And it’s their first experience of theatre so you want them to come away loving it.”

The 57-year-old father-of-two has wanted to be in showbusiness since he was a young lad. “I always had a passion to perform and dropped out of uni to become an actor,” he said.

He’s also a keen musician who tours with two bands – Waiting Room back home in Oz and the X-Rays in the UK.

> Robin Hood opens tomorrow (December 12) and runs until January 4. Call the Box Office on 01582 602080.