TOM FLETCHER & MATT WIL­LIS IN­TER­VIEW

First News - - Front Page - by Ser­ena Lacey

THIS De­cem­ber, Santa, his elves and a very spe­cial di­nosaur will be tak­ing to the stage for The Christ­masaurus Live in Lon­don. The fes­tive mu­si­cal ex­trav­a­ganza is based on the novel by Tom Fletcher and will star Tom and a host of his fam­ily and friends. We caught up with Tom and pal Matt Wil­lis to chat about the show and all things Christ­massy. The Christ­masaurus is a book, a live show and is soon to be a film. Did you ex­pect it to be­come as huge as it is? Tom: Well, there are two dif­fer­ent sides to it: there’s the am­bi­tion and the ex­pec­ta­tion. I mean, you never ex­pect things to take off; there’s al­ways that self­doubt. The am­bi­tion has al­ways been big for The Christ­masaurus, even from day one. It came from a song and then was a book, then pretty soon af­ter the movie was be­ing de­vel­oped and it’s just snow­balled. It’s been the most in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence record­ing the songs. When you hear an orches­tra play­ing your song it’s quite over­whelm­ing. I’d never cried in a record­ing stu­dio be­fore, but stand­ing there for The Christ­masaurus… I re­ally couldn’t wait for peo­ple to hear the songs as part of the mu­si­cal edi­tion, and then to know that they’re the same songs we’ll be do­ing live is in­cred­i­ble.

Are the songs in the show the same as on the mu­si­cal edi­tion CD?

Tom: They’re all the same, al­though I think there is one ex­tra one in the live show be­cause they’re kind of dif­fer­ent ways of telling the story. And in the film too, they’re the same songs but done slightly dif­fer­ently. I quite liked that I had to adapt ev­ery­thing to suit the medium.

Tell us a bit about your roles in The Christ­masaurus Live.

Tom: We don’t want to give too many secrets away. The way that we’re pre­sent­ing the story is not like a tra­di­tional mu­si­cal. It’s not like a con­cert or a panto, it’s like a mash-up of all of them. Matt: I’m The Hunter. I read the book to my kids last Christ­mas and we had the best time. But The Hunter, there’s some­thing about him. I love play­ing bad­dies and I’m al­ways drawn to the vil­lain, so I read this book and I was in­stantly drawn to this guy.

Tom: Bad­dies are more in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters.

Matt: My daugh­ter loves it as well. I had this voice for The Hunter, which I used ev­ery time I read it, so I al­ready have his voice sorted. All I need to do to pre­pare for the role is to go and read the book again. I’m ready!

Are you wor­ried about kids be­ing a bit scared of you?

Matt: I don’t want to ter­rify them, but I want to be scary. It’s a kids’ show, a fam­ily show, so you can’t be too scary.

When does Christ­mas of­fi­cially start for you?

Tom: Do you know what I found, work­ing on this? When you work on a Christ­mas project, Christ­mas never stops. As soon as Christ­mas was done last year, we were talk­ing about this year. I re­alised that my whole life is go­ing to be about Christ­mas. For­ever. It’s a good job I like Christ­mas!

Matt: I never nor­mally get into the Christ­mas spirit un­til about two weeks be­fore. I fully go for it then, but I’m not some­one who goes crazy from 1 De­cem­ber. This year, I got the call from Tom about the show and the next day I bought Mary Berry’s Christ­mas cook­book! This year I’m fully in the spirit.

Do you go re­ally big with your Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions?

Tom: Yeah! And you know, there’s a lit­tle bit of a bat­tle be­tween the neigh­bours as well. Who gets them up first, whose are the neat­est. I’ve got spe­cial hooks now that stay up all year round. I had to; my neigh­bour did it and I could not have him up­ping me on the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions!

Matt: What I love about your house at Christ­mas is that choco­late bowl! It’s ridicu­lous, I can’t help my­self. Last year when I came round your house I went home and emp­tied my pock­ets and found hun­dreds of sweet wrap­pers that I’d been sneak­ily eat­ing.

Tom: We just com­bine all the Christ­mas sweets in one big bowl like a caul­dron. This year the chal­lenge will be keep­ing it away from my son, Buzz. He’ll go nuts.

Do you have any fam­ily Christ­mas tra­di­tions?

Tom: I have spe­cific Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions that I’ve had for years that al­ways go up. I have a lit­tle mouse that I have had since I was my son’s age. He doesn’t even look like a mouse any more but he has to be there. We have two trees: the main tree, which we dec­o­rate re­ally nicely, and then a re­ally tacky tree that we chuck any­thing on. Al­though, the last few years they have kind of merged into one.

Matt: Christ­mas is al­ways some­where dif­fer­ent for me. This year we have a show on Christ­mas Eve and then I have to travel to Birm­ing­ham. I re­ally want to get to the point where it is al­ways at my house. I want to host Christ­mas ev­ery year for the rest of my life. Please. I’ve bought Mary Berry’s Christ­mas book! I wanna make cakes!

For more in­for­ma­tion about The Christ­masaurus and for ticket in­for­ma­tion about The Christ­masaurus Live, visit thechrist­masaurus.com

The cast of The Christ­masaurus Live in­cludes Matt Wil­lis, Car­rie Hope Fletcher (Tom’s sis­ter), Gio­vanna Fletcher (Tom’s wife), Harry Judd from McFly, and Ni­cholas Pound as Fa­ther Christ­mas

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