'Mansfield is a real panto town and I love coming here' - Adam Moss talks about his forthcoming stint back at the Palace

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas in Mansfield without Panto veteran Adam Moss treading the boards at the Palace Theatre.

And the comedy favourite is gearing up for his sixth outing at the venue after two years, with the Covid pandemic causing live theatre to be paused last year.

But the 39-year-old, who took his festive fun online last year, is gearing up to play Silly Billy in this year’s production of Sleeping Beauty.

He says he expects to shed a couple of stone over the course of the 36-day run, which opens at the venue on November 27.

Adam Moss is heading back to the Mansfield Palace for the sixth time

At the time we spoke, ‘Mossy,’ as he likes to be known, hadn’t yet started rehearsals, and said it will he a frantic two-week process, where he will be flying by the seat of his pants when he hits the ground running in a few days.

“I think people think we get to rehearse for weeks,” he says, “but it’s literally a week of rehearsals, a week of tech, and then we’re on.

“During that week it’s all over the place, I might have to jump into a dance rehearsal, or work on a song that I’m taking part in, then it’s back to my stuff, and putting it all together.

“Sleeping Beauty is the toughest to do, I’ll shed a couple of stone over the course of the run.

Proposing to Karen in 2016

“You get a bit with me and the dame, a bit of story, then back to us, then a bit more story again. The dame and myself prop the show up, we keep it together. It’s a big one.”

Last year, the planned panto got cancelled and Mossy was forced to take his comic talents online - writing a one-man show which was performed virtually. He not only performed all the parts, but also wrote it and did all of the ‘tech’.

“For a while, our flat was like being in the Big Brother House - cameras and microphones everywhere,” he says.

“When Covid happened, everything just pretty much ground to a halt overnight. I didn’t moan about it and just carried on doing my own thing. We had a little baby in October, and I think that she’s a child of history - being born in the pandemic.

“I decided to do this one-man panto - I was the first to do it, along with this bloke from Blue Peter who did one. I was performing in front of green screens at a time when my wife was ready to drop. And now we’ve got a little puppy to boot.”

During a previous run playing the comic character at Mansfield Palace, he famously proposed to his now-wife Karen during a performance of Peter Pan in 2016. They married two years later.

“At the time, that was headline news,” he says. “It all happened in Mansfield and Karen loves coming here. It’s a real family at the Palace and she loves it.

“It’s not just the cast but the crew, the front of house and all the other people that help get the show out.

“I just turn up, put on a silly costume and make a few gags, but they’re the people that make it happen.”

And he says he loves performing at the Palace because Mansfield is a real ‘panto town’.

“You know, I take the mickey out of the town, out of its people, out of Shirebrook - really take the mickey - and they love it.

“When I’ve worked elsewhere, you might make a gag about some carpark or something, and it’s like, ‘whoooooooo’ from the audience.

“But not in Mansfield. They expect a certain kind of comedy, they expect you to take the mickey, and they love it when you do.

“I love walking round the town and speaking to people who have been in the audience. I get kids shouting ‘Buttons’ or ‘Smee’ or ‘Silly Billy’ at me - depending on what part I’m playing, and sometimes you get someone coming up to you saying, ‘that was a bit harsh’, but they genuinely love it; they love having the mickey taken out of them. They’re a real panto town.

“If I hear someone say, ‘That was the best one yet’, then that’s my job done.

“They take it on the chin.”

Sleeping Beauty opens on November 27 and runs until January 2. Tickets can be booked on the Mansfield Palace website. It also stars Milkshake presenter Amy Thompson, Rebecca Wheatley and Phillip Mears.

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