Like a dame
What makes a great panto dame? Jo-Anne Rowney asks Dave Lynn, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre’s ugly sister for his secret to playing a great dame
DAVE Lynn first starred in panto in 1991, but it wasn’t until ‘94 that he played the evil dame character from the queen to the ugly sister. “I have always played the evil persona,” he said. “The guy I was partnered with was older and had done television voice work, he had this rich television voice that just became something feminine and different when he became the ugly sister. “That’s the magic of panto.” Here are his secrets to playing the dame.
lot of men playing the dame think, especially if they are the evil one, that they need to slap on the make up as if it’s a drag act.
You don’t. There’s no need to put on all that blue eye makeup and look a fright.
The theory is you are playing a lady, but no matter how much I try I will never look as beautiful as Cinderella for example.
The best thing is to think how the dame thinks. She thinks she is beautiful, I think of glamour models and do the makeup that way.
Whether the jolly dame, the mother or evil dame, the queen or baronness they
Aall think they are stunning. Feel that way.
I worked with a dame once who cut out black hard paper and made those into eye lashes. That’s not for me.
This links to the makeup but it’s about the way you are and the way you behave. I think the evil dames feel as if they are sexy. That scares the kids more!
The ugly sisters are two ladies who feel as if they are young, they think they are gorgeous. They are the kind of bitchy girls in the playground. I just think if they lived in the real world, they’d have had botox and all the works.
Some of the outfits are really figure hugging. I felt and looked like Janice Dickinson [ American supermodel].
The outfits are outrageous. This year, we saw them and thought how am I going to wear that, let along walk in it.
It’s a skill. You don’t even realise you are learning to walk in heels but you do.
You own that look, you have to feel like a sex bomb.
You take on the stance, the walk and come across as feminine. It’s all part of being the dame. There’s no need to play butch here.
It’s more for the evil dames, but at first I was slightly shocked when people booed so much. I gulped. It’s quite