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Panto

UGLY SISTERS TALK PANTO

Cinderella may have set her heart on going to the ball but for panto Ugly Sisters Jamie Morris and Tarot ‘Taz’ Joseph there’s no place like home.

“It’s heaven this year because we live near Stanley Park so we are home for Christmas and New Year,” says Jamie. “I think we will be having plenty of parties of our own without having to be worried about being invited to Prince Charming’s ball.”

They were last at the Grand in the 2012/2013 production of Cinderella and admit that the Blackpool theatre is their favourite in the country.

“As well as being beautiful you can almost reach out and touch the audience,” says Jamie.
As solo performers they have racked up many years in showbusiness but came together professionally eight years ago – then married six years ago.

So what do they bring to the ugly sisters?

“Venom, glamour and comedy,” says the quieter sis Taz.

“They are the best parts to play in any panto,” adds Jamie. “There’s a lot more scope than the usual dame because you’ve got to combine the balance of evil and comedy.

“The audience loves to hate you and for so many of them it’s their first taste of live theatre and certainly the first time they’ve been allowed – in fact encouraged – to boo and hiss.
“Obviously we have to be a little bit frightening and it’s not unknown for some youngsters to end up in tears – but equally we don’t want them all to be scared witless or they’d never come back to pantomime again.”

They worked with this year’s Cinderella Olivia Birchenough last year in New Brighton and she says she is wise to their stage antics.

“I’m quite a feisty Cinders so I don’t let them bully me too much,” she says. “The difficult thing is keeping my face straight when they are supposed to be being nasty to me.”

For their part, they say that their offstage relationship helps their stage personas work well.

“We are sisters in the panto and a married couple at home so like any married couple there’s a sense of knowing how each other’s mind works,” says Jamie. “It’s an instinctive thing and I think the audience picks up on that.”

Outside of pantomime they run their own production company and Taz is a wig master whose creations will be adorning 13 pantomimes this year – that’s 178 wigs in all.

“He works from home so it can be a bit scary for anyone who visits us to suddenly see rows and rows of wonderful wigs with nobody in them!” says Jamie

As J & T Productions they present shows in Turkey every summer as well as having well known performing alter egos of their own – Bonnie La Blue (Jamie) and Bunny Hopps (Tarot).

They also perform together as the Surprise Guys cabaret double act.

“We are very fortunate,” says Jamie. “Touch wood and touch wigs we seem to keep being in demand.”

Cinderella is performing now until the 7 January so you can still get tickets for the last few shows but you’ll have to be quick!! You can get your tickets online by clicking here, alternatively you can ring our Box Office on 01253 290190.