Timothy Lucas on the Christmas circus at St Helens Theatre Royal
The circus is coming to St Helens this Christmas – but you won’t find Timothy Lucas juggling or fire breathing.
“I’ll probably be the finger pointer, telling other people to do it,” he says of his role as the baddie in the Theatre Royal’s big top-set Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
It seems a shame to miss out on the fun through. So what would he choose if he was tasked with one circus skill?
The 26-year-old laughs: “I think I’d be a good tightrope walker. I’d really work the tightrope.”
You can certainly imagine the ebullient Lucas relishing a daredevil stunt or two in the name of entertainment.
Goldilocks is his fifth show for Regal Entertainments in the last two years, including a live-streamed version of Jack and the Beanstalk during the Easter lockdown.
“It was very different,” he admits of the experience. “All the same enjoyable, but I did miss an audience, and the atmosphere of so many people in a room watching you.
“I’m quite a spontaneous actor, so you do lose a bit of that. But you probably gain a bit more clarity of the story.”
Above: Timothy Lucas as Jack in the live-streamed Jack & The Beanstalk. Top: As Baron von Vippemall in Goldilocks. Photo by David Munn
Lucas started his acting career in youth theatre, with his first big role being in a Stage Experience production of Fame at the Liverpool Empire. He recalls being “just a busy lad, doing sport and boxing and stuff” when he was invited to audition for the musical.
He admits the experience had a huge impact and helped set him on the path to training in acting and musical theatre at Liverpool Theatre School (where roles included Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man) and then a professional career.
His CV includes a diverse range of parts, from Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet at the Epstein Theatre to this latest panto outing as the flamboyant Baron von Vippemall.
“It’s all characters,” he points out. “I find every show is as exciting and amazing as the one I’ve done before. Even if I was in something in the West End, I’m sure I’d take just as much delight from that as what I’m doing right now.
“I love being those characters and creating new characters. I’m all about that person I’m playing, and the world they live in.”
Above: Timothy Lucas and the cast of Goldilocks including David Tag as the Ringmaster. Photo by David Munn.
While he’s been cast as the eponymous Jack (of Beanstalk fame) and Gaston in Beauty and the Beast during the pandemic, like many in the acting profession Lucas has seen his career affected by the Covid crisis which has now been ongoing for 20 months.
When theatres first shut their doors last spring, friends helped him secure a job working in landscape gardening.
“I was laying flags and building front walls in people’s gardens,” he explains. “A landscape labourer is probably the hardest kind of labouring. In the cold – it was so raw. You were trying to put your spade through sand, and the sand was frozen.”
One of five brothers (“and I’m not even the funny one” he jokes), he spent last Christmas in a bubble with his mum and admits he feels lucky to have been able to share the festive season with family.
St Helens Theatre Royal has also become an extended family, and its audiences have taken the Liverpudlian under their wing.
“I get messages off the families of St Helens who say: ‘we’re coming to see you’,” he says. “To feel like you’re part of someone’s family is so lovely.”
He adds: “I love to feel responsible for people’s joyfulness. Seeing kids so happy and believing in the magic you create on stage is what it’s all about. I know that might sound cringey, but it’s true.”
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is at St Helens Theatre Royal from December 10 to January 9 2022. Tickets HERE