THERE are many reasons that Sam Kane loves pantomimes, but most of all, he loves them because it is where he met the woman he fell in love with – and they have worked together ever since.

Sam Kane and his wife of 21 years, Linda Lusardi, are performing in the pantomime Cinderella at The Playhouse theatre in Weston-super-Mare.

Sam has been involved in theatre since he started training at the age of 16. He has performed in plays, musicals and even had a few TV roles too.

He explained: “There are lots of differences in the process of TV and stage acting. Firstly, the immediacy of a reaction is there with live theatre. Hearing the desired reaction or applause for the performance you’ve literally just given is priceless. The commitment, effort and discipline to give a flawless performance every show is huge.

“I also love TV acting. Although it’s very different in lots of ways, it really is just a different form and level of performance. The process is much more thoughtful and internal in many ways. In a single look, you can tell the viewer exactly what you’re thinking or equally leave it to them to decide what’s behind your eyes.”

But pantomime has always been a huge part of Sam’s acting career. He has been performing in pantomimes his whole life, first alone and then alongside Linda – which made it all the more special.

He said: “Panto has been there the whole the way through for me. I’ve been performing in it since the beginning of my life in showbusiness. It is an incredible way to bring every generation into the theatre at the same time, to warm their hearts and put a smile on their faces. The traditions of it are simply amazing.

“Linda is my best friend in the world. We have worked together for almost 20 Pantomimes and have had a ball throughout. We put smiles on faces and make people laugh through the shows we’ve been a part of. There is laughter and tears. Boos and cheers.

“The audience is as big a part in the show as the cast and everyone knows their role to a ‘T’. It’s magic. It is, for us, what Christmas is all about. We don’t know any different at this time of year.”

In Cinderella, Linda plays the role of The Fairy Godmother and Sam not only plays one half of the famous duo – The Ugly Sisters – but he is also directing the pantomime too.

His character is vile, ugly and extremely flamboyant, but not in an attractive way and alongside Stewart Briggs (playing the other ugly sister), they are the “baddies” of the show.

Sam said: “In my opinion, the aim of the baddies in Panto is to make the audience love to hate them. Hitting the mark with making them despise us but also keeping them on side enough to make them laugh with our nastiness is the key.

“Being garish, crass, nasty, bitchy with far too much makeup on but making the audience love us through their boos and hisses will make this panto season a great success.”

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Although directing and performing isn’t without its difficulties, Sam loves being control of the creative side of the show, as well as taking part in the show he created.

He added: “Performing in Pantomime is hard enough but adding to it, director, could be construed as self-cruelty. For me. It couldn’t be further away from that.

“I adore being in control of the creative side. The bringing together the team without whom, it would be a nightmare. I love creating the comedy, the pathos, the energy, the visuals.”

Only two days into the rehearsal process, Sam admitted that there have been no low moments and they have an amazing cast, who have laughed so much already.

In Sam’s opinion, Cinderella is the perfect love story with a great balance of good and evil. It is about finding true love and breaking down the barriers of class. There will also be a few surprises along the way and Sam is particularly excited about Linda’s entrance as The Fairy Godmother.

Sam added: “Cinderella will make this Christmas a better one. We’ll take you away from all the cares of the world for a little while and put a smile back into your heart and all over your face. You’ll laugh, you may even have a little cry. But I guarantee. You will have a great time. The Weston Super Mare Playhouse Pantomime is a great way to make great memories.

“Merry Christmas to everyone from myself, Linda, my beautiful wife and the rest of the cast, crew, and staff here at The Playhouse.”

Cinderella at The Playhouse theatre runs from December 7 until December 31. To find out more visit parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/Playhouse-Theatre or call 01934 645544.