Is Jack Rigby in danger of being typecast?
Two years ago he played the handsome prince in Cinderella at St Helens – and now he’s back, starring as the royal love interest to Lucy Jo Hudson's Snow White.
“I think these might even be the same trousers,” he laughs, looking down at the costume he’s donned for the panto’s photocall, and trying not to catch the eye of the large hen party that’s checking in to the hotel foyer where we’re sitting.
Dealing with excitable hens might be good practice, of course, for a seasonal show whose audience is definitely there to have fun and be entertained.
“I loved seeing the kids’ reactions last time – that was the first time I’d done panto.” Jack says. “It was just electric. It is very hard work, but it’s fun. I enjoy playing the Prince as well.
“You can play him maybe a bit more truthfully than some of the other characters. You don’t have to ham it up as much. I enjoy playing that regal type of character.”
As a youngster himself, the LIPA graduate and Waterloo Road actor wasn’t taken to panto but was in his school nativity at Bedford Road primary, playing the pivotal role of the Innkeeper (“I think it was because I was the loudest kid in the class” he volunteers).
He got the acting bug early on, playing Fagin in Oliver, complete with fake beard and his teacher’s oversized coat, and Danny Zuko in Grease.
Then he saw a call for auditions in the Echo for secondary school aged youngsters to star in Our Day Out at the Royal Court. Despite still being in primary school, he won the role of Little Kid – “the cheeky one saying the cheeky lines”. And that was that.
As for dealing with the ad libbing and chaos on stage, not to mention the audience participation key in panto, Jack has the experience of playing the Royal Court when dealing with unexpected moments.
He smiles: “You get used to it. But it keeps the show fresh as well, if it’s something that’s funny and the audience laugh at it.”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at St Helens Theatre Royal from December 2 to January 7. Tickets HERE