TOM FLETCHER & MATT WILLIS INTERVIEW
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